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6 5^'^ 

Mississippi Valley 

An Outline of the Early History of 
the Earlier West 

Henry E. Chambers 

Member, Louisiana State Historical Society 

Author, The Hansell Series of American Histories; "West Florida 

and its Relation to the Historical Cartography of the United 

States"; "An Introduction to the Study of Louisiana 

History"; "The Territory of Orleans" and "Modern 

Louisiana" — Building of the Nation Series, etc. 




G. P. Putnam's Sons 

New York and London 

Ube IRnfcfeerbocfter press 

Copyright, 1922 


Henry E. Chambers 

Made in the United States of Americe 

3n iHemoriam 


I > 

» I 


\ /OLUMES have been written upon the so-called 
^ "West," that seem to ignore its broader 
significance and assume it to be an area of limited 
extent whose confines extend but little beyond 
those of a comparatively few States, particularly 
those carved from what was once known as the 
Northwest Territory. 

Other volumes have been devoted to certain 
phases and periods of Western pioneer life, but take 
little account of racial elements other than the 
Anglo-Saxon, notwithstanding these others have 
lived this life and contributed to its social and 
institutional expression. 

Still other volumes give titular attention to 
"Louisiana" as embracive of the whole Missis- 
sippi Valley. Yet, in their detailed narratives of 
French and Spanish dominations, the vision of their 
readers is made to extend but little beyond the 
boundaries proper of the State that now bears that 
name. In concentrating upon the small por- 
tion of the Valley contiguous to the Gulf, they 
either ignore those of English-speaking stock 
who forced the fastnesses of the Appalachians, to 

vi Jforettjorb 

make the West in time their own, or they set them 
down as somewhat of a racial irritant whose effect 
upon the cultured and enlightened Latins of the 
lower Valley was that of the Barbarian upon 
ancient Rome. 

It is, therefore, attempted in the present work to 
correlate these fragmentary treatments; to give 
a reasonably comprehensive view of the Missis- 
sippi Valley as a whole ; to set forth not only how the 
earlier West, as distinguished from the later West of 
plain and prairie, was wrested from the wilderness 
and won to civilization but to include as far as space 
permits all the antagonistic forces that spelt 
struggle, all the cooperating elements that made 
for its rapid peopling and inspired its social and 
institutional beginnings. 

A subject of such magnitude can be projected 
upon the canvas of a single volume only by means 
of the broad brush strokes of an impressionist. 
The author has touched in, here and there, certain 
details, however, as high-lights calculated to bring 
out with greater definiteness what he has endeav- 
ored to convey as a whole. 

Acknowledgment is hereby made to the many 
contributors to the written history of the West, 
whose works merit mention in the Bibliography 
attached to this volume, works which he has read 
and consulted with pleasure and profit. 

Special acknowledgment is due Mr. Henry M. 
Gill of the New Orleans Public Library, Mr. 

jForetDorli vii 

William Beer of the Howard Memorial Library and 
the able staff of assistants of both institutions, for 
many courtesies extended during the preparation 
of the present work and for having placed unreserv- 
edly before him the ample resources of those two 
important repositories of historical information. 

Finally a hope is entertained that notwithstand- 
ing the deficiencies which in all probability will 
reveal themselves, in the present work these will be 
found not sufficiently serious to detract either from 
the interest students of history derive from such 
summaries and generalizations as this volume pre- 
sents, or from that of the lay reader to whom as a 
class historical narrative as a branch of literature 
is making more and more of an appeal, 

H. E. C. 

New Orleans, August 1, 1922. 




The Westward Push of the American Pioneer . 3 

The Valley as a geographical entity — Queen Region of the 
' Western World — The army of occupation that was to sweep 
westward, its scouts, skirmishers, main body — Rapidity with 
which the earlier West was peopled — Dr. Ferrero's theory of 
cause — Social forces impelling to movement analyzed — Lures 
and Urges — Man's instinct to move westward — Significant 
steps in the growth and development of the West — Jonathan 
Carver's prophecy. 


Travel Ways of Early Days .... 13 

Primitive aids to travel and transportation — Indian traces 
and trails — Animal paths antedating Indian trails — Use of 
waterways — The bark canoe — Portages — Location of port- 
ages that determined routes of exploration and travel — Stand- 
ardization of the canoe — The pirogues of the lower Valley — 
Bateaux plats and radeaux — Development of the keelboat 
and broadhorn — Dangers of early Mississippi navigation — 
Commerce and travel between the French settlements of 
Illinois and Louisiana — Why ingress into the Valley from 
Canada took a westward instead of a southward trend. 


Dreams of Empire . . . . . .31 

Beginnings of the Valley's recorded history — De Soto and 
the discovery of the Mississippi — French explorational 

X Contents; 


activity in the upper part of the Valley — Brul€, Nicollet, 
Marquette and Joliet — First historic voyage down the Mis- 
sissippi — La Salle of Canada and his first ventures into the 
wilderness — His dream of a mid-continent empire for 
France — Tonty-of-the-Iron-Hand. 

The Prince of American Explorers ... 43 

La Salle begins his task — The tragedy of the Griffon — Creve- 
Coeur — Thwartings and delays in the Illinois country — 
Return to Canada and a new start — Father Hennepin de- 
tached and sent to the Minnesota country — La Salle and 
Tonty heads the main expedition down stream — Mission 
accomplished by reaching the Mississippi's mouth — La 
Salle's tragic end. 


French Beginnings in the Lower Valley . . 52 

Sieur d'Iberville — The settlement of Biloxi — Massacre 
Island and its " Ballroom for the Witches of Hell" — Bienville, 
the Captain John Smith of the Biloxi colony — Pest ships — 
Mobile settlement — Hardships — Dependence upon the 
neighboring Indians for food — La Sueur makes his way to the 
upper Valley in search of copper — Casket Girls — Petticoat 
Insurrection — The grant to Crozat — Institution of civil gov- 
ernment — Cadillac, governor — Founding of Natchitoches — 
Natchez — Crozat's failure. 

A Bubble and its Bursting ..... 60 

John Law, financial genius — Some ideas of his, anticipatory 
of later-day "Big Business" — His Companie de la Louisiana 
ou d'Occident and Compagnie des Indes — Founding of New 
Orleans — Nomenclature of its first streets — Earliest descrip- 
tion of the town — Its first census four years after founding — 
Land grants along the river — Sieur Renaud's Missouri 
grant — The first introduction of slavery into the Upper 
Valley — Influx of Germans into the French colony — Ger- 

Contents; xi 


manic origin of many Louisiana-French family names — 
Law's failure and his accomplishment. 


Race Barriers and Their Removal ... 71 

The spread of the Atlantic seaboard colonies westward — Euro- 
pean colonizing nations and their relations with the Red Man 
— The first tier of Indian wars marking the progress of the 
English into the interior — The second line of Indian opposi- 
tion and its breaking — The French of Canada anticipate the 
English in the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys — Brilliant ex- 
amples of French initiative showing superiority of enterprise 
over the English — Dogged persistence of the English and 
their faculty of "muddling through." 


The Struggle for Supremacy .... 78 

Scotch Irish and Pennsylvania-German migrations to the west- 
ern Valleys of Virginia — Need for expansion westward — Sur- 
vey of the Great Woods — First clashings with the French — 
Washington defeats Jumonville and is in turn defeated and 
captured by Jumonville's brother — The struggle finally ends 
in England's favor — Territorial changes — Dissensions over 
the result leading up to the American Revolution — Further 
challenges to the Red Man's opposition. 

A Latin Echo to America's Liberty Call . . 87 

The Valley divided between England and Spain — Spain ac- 
quires New Orleans and the west half of the Valley — Bitter 
protest of the Louisianians against the change of sovereign au- 
thority — Don Antonio de Ulloa arrives from Peru to become 
the first governor of Spanish Louisiana — Lafreniere's revolt — 
Expulsion of Ulloa — France fails her patriotic sons in the 
colony — Lafreniere's remarkable enunciation of principles 
antedating similar expressions in the English colonies. 

xii ContentJS 



Spain's Bludgeon Falls ..... 100 

Don Alexander O'Reilly arrives upon his mission of vengeance 
— Aubry's treachery — Arrest and trial of the ring leaders — 
Their plea set aside — Laurels of revolution turned to willows 
of defeat — The verdict — Martyrdom. 


The Don Establishes His Dominion . , . 107 

Institution of Spanish Colonial government in lower and 
upper Louisiana — OflBcials and their functions — The 
Cabildo — French laws replaced by those of the Recopilcion 
de los Indios — The "Black Code" and its features — 
O'Reilly's mission accomplished — Don Luis de Unzaga as- 
sumes the governorship — Spanish governors of the Valley 
and the order of their serving. 



First Trans-Mississippi Migrations — Upper 

Spanish Louisiana . . . . . .117 

French settlements in Illinois — Fur trade and the search for 
silver — Founding of St. Genevieve — Laclede and Chouteau 
and the beginnings of St. Louis — General migration of the 
Illinois French across the river to escape English jurisdiction 
— Francisco Rios, first Sp anish governor of the upper Valley 
— His successors. 


The Habitans of the Upper Valley . . .122 

Prosperity of the Illinois and Missouri settlements — Trade 
with New Orleans and Quebec — French system of land- 
holding — Village life of the habitans — Some characteristics of 
the early French pioneers in Illinois and Missouri — Spanish 
encouragement to western settlers — Daniel Boone becomes a 
Spanish subject — George Morgan and New Madrid — Span- 
ish land-grants and their validating. 

Contents; xiii 



The Coming of the Acadians to the Lower Valley 131 

Forced removal of the Acadians from their country — How 
they reached Louisiana — The first little band to arrive in New 
Orleans — Pilgrims of the migration to follow — Dauterive's 
compassion for them — Why they took up their abode on the 
Attakapas prairies — The Acadians as true pioneers. 

Life in the Attakapas Country . . . .138 

Acadian French and Illinois French contrasted — Acadian 
characteristics — Their aloofness — Social life — Pioneer in- 
dustries — A visit to a typical Acadian household — The 
"Cajun" housewife — Specimen "Cajun" menu — Emigres 
from the French Revolution — St. Martinsville on the 
Teche — A legend of "Little Paris." 


The Valley in the War of the American Revolu- 
tion ........ 147 

George Rogers Clark's conquest of the Northwest Territory 
for Virginia — Cooperation of the French hahitans with Clark 
— The County of Illinois — Captain John Todd, Provisional 
Governor — Father Gibault — The victory of Vincennes — 
Spain joins with France and the American Colonies in the 
war against England — British West Florida, England's four- 
teenth colony — Pensacola made capital — Disposition of West 
Floridians to be loyal to the Crown — Willing's raid — Oliver 
Pollock and his contributions to the American cause — The 
"Robert Morris of the West" — Sinclair's expedition against 
the Spaniards of St. Louis — Gallantry of Pierre and August 
Chouteau — Don Poure's expedition against St. Joseph, 
Mich. — The conquest of West Florida by Galvez — Spain 
acquires treaty rights to the two Florldas. 


Spanish Intrigue and Western Unrest . .162 

Spain's real motive in taking up arms against England — De- 
pendence of the Kentucky and Tennessee settlers upon free 

xiv Contentjf 


navigation of the Mississippi — Effect of closure of the river by- 
Spain — Stimulation of the live stock industry — Industrial 
growth of Cincinnati — "Porkopolis" — Spanish authorities 
at New Orleans play fast and loose with the Ohio valley 
settlers — Jay's Treaty and its irritating effects upon the 
Westerners — Weakness of the American government under 
the Articles of Confederation — Its failure to command the 
respect and loyalty of the Western settlers — Self-interest 
paramount in community life as well as individual. 


A Stormy Petrel of Western Life . . .170 

General James Wilkinson — Adverse judgment of him by emi- 
nent historians — His relations with Washington, Hamilton, 
Jefferson and Adams — Courts-martial and Courts of Inquiry 
— Summary of his military career — His retirement from the 
army — Enters mercantile life — Becomes a citizen of Ken- 
tucky — Kentucky's repeated demands for Statehood found 
expression through him — His efforts to open the Mississippi 
River to the Westerners — His first trading venture to New 
Orleans — Wilkinson and Miro — His second venture and its 
subsequent results — His reentrance into the army — Ap- 
pointed Colonel by Washington as a reward for his success 
against the western Indians after Harmar's defeat — Becomes 
Commander-in-chief of the United States Army. 


The Waning of Spain's Power . . . .180 

Spain encourages Westerners to settle upon Spanish territory 
— Early comers to the Natchez district — Spain's hope to ac- 
quire the eastern half of the Valley fades with the establish- 
ment of the Federal Union — The "Yazoo Claims" — Florida 
boundary treaty with the United States — Consecutive steps 
in Spain's decline of power in America. 



A Pawn and Four Players . . . . .187 

Napoleon's efforts to reacquire Louisiana (the Mississippi 
Valley) — His pressure upon Spain — His contract as to con- 

Contentsi xv 


sideration to be exchanged — His failure to comply — The 
Secret Treaty of San Ildefonso — Napoleon prepares to take 
possession — The Haitian expedition and its disastrous end 
— The San Domingo revolt and its contribution to the 
Valley's population — Napoleon's decision to sell Louisiana to 
the Americans — Flatboat trade with the lower Valley begins 
in earnest — Temporary halt to this trade and ensuing clamor 
of protest — Kentuckians threaten to invade Louisiana still 
in official possession of Spain. 


An Imperialistic Purchase . . . .196 

The United States determines to purchase New Orleans or 
Florida or both — Livingston's negotiations — Monroe's part in 
the purchase following his appointment as Minister Extra- 
ordinary — Napoleon sells the whole of Louisiana — Marbois' 
testimony as to Napoleon's reasons for selling — The formal 
signing of the treaty of sale — Napoleon's farewell to Louis- 
ianians as subjects of France — How French-speaking Louis- 
iana has honored his memory. 

Transferrings of Title ..... 205 

Disappointment over non-arrival of General Victor — Ar- 
rival of Colonial Prefect Laussat — Elements in the colony op- 
posed to French acquirement — Laussat's proclamation an- 
nouncing the retrocession of Louisiana to France — Casa 
Calvo officiates for Spain — Social rivalries of Casa Calvo and 
Laussat — France's second domination lasts but twenty days 
— The ceremony of transfer to the United States — Governor 
Claiborne of Mississippi Territory and General James 
Wilkinson act for the United States — Imperialism makes 
its first appearance in the governmental policy of the 
United States — The formal transfer of the upper Valley takes 
place at St. Louis — Exact limits of the Purchase, a mooted 
question — West Florida in dispute — Spain holds West 
Florida for seven years after the Louisiana purchase — West 
Floridians revolt and set up an independent government 
— Annexed to the United States: Greater part becomes the 
"Florida Parishes" of the present State of Louisiana. 

xvi ContentJf 



America's First "Scrap of Paper" . . .219 

Opposition in Congress against incorporating Louisianians as 
full citizens of the United States — Purchase pledges, violated 
— Degraded position of Louisianians under the first territorial 
government — Public meetings of protest — Delegation of 
three sent to Washington to bear this protest — Members of 
Congress astounded at the culture, ability and statesmanship 
of Derbigny, Sauv€ and Destrahan — New and more liberal 
territorial government granted to the " Territory of Orleans." 


The Genesis of Early Mid-west Commonwealths 225 

The general government acquires the claims of the States 
to western lands — The first three western territories — Pro- 
posed division of the Northwest Territory — Picturesque 
nomenclature of the proposed ten divisions — Virginia's 
original wishes in regard to division acceded to — The Ordin- 
ance of 1787 — Organized government under this ordinance — 
Institutional features reappearing in subsequently organized 
territorial governments — Mississippi Territory first to regis- 
ter opposition against unjust laws — The States formed from 
the Northwest Territory — The dividing up of the Louisiana 
Purchase — The territory of Orleans — The District of Louis- 
iana (Missouri) — The territory of Louisiana — The Territory 
of Missouri — Arkansas Territory. 

An Early American Melting Pot . . . 237 

William Charles Coles Claiborne, a significant figure in the 
Valley's history — His remarkable career — His appointment 
as first governor of Orleans Territory — DiflSculties of his 
position — How he won French-speaking Louisiana to ap- 
preciation of American citizenship — Patriotism the keynote 
to his character — Polyglot elements with which he had to 

Contents^ xvii 



The Spreading Wave Speeds on . . . 245 

Distribution of western pioneer population according to the 
first Census of the United States (1790)— Marietta and Cin- 
cinnati, O. — Repression of the western settlements from 
expanding — Indian hostility in the North-west — English 
retention of Northwestern posts and forts promising a second 
war — The trying period of 1790-1795 — Harmar's and St. 
Clair's defeats by the Indians — General Wayne wins com- 
plete victory — Treaty of Greenville — Founding of Cleve- 
land — Chicago — War with Tecumseh — Creek war — Resum6 
of treaties by which the Indian title to the lands in the lower 
Valley became extinguished. 


Planter-Pioneers in the Lower Valley . . 254 

Various elements in the migratory movement westward — 
Hunter-frontiersmen and Squatter types — Typical life history 
of an Arkansas pioneer from his original home in North Caro- 
lina — Slave-holders of southern seaboard States move west- 
ward with their chattels — Occupy the rich alluvial bottom 
lands and become wealthy "Southern Planters" — Non- 
slaveholders settle the hills and pine barrens and evolve 
distinctive types — Eddies of population-movements west of 
the Mississippi. 


The Ways of the Wilderness Winners . . 261 

The Scotch-Irish element in western pioneer life — Character- 
istics of the Scotch-Irish — Coordinate pioneer elements — The 
Block-house Era — Typical western pioneer traits as recorded 
by actual observers — The conclusion to be drawn — The 
pioneer's outfit — Why he sought the woods instead of 
the open country — His self-sufiiciency — His larder — His 
whiskey — House-raisings — Amusements — Dances — Fiddler 
contests — Revivals — Camp-meetings. 


War's Test of the West ..... 278 

The War of 1812 — American reverses on land — Exceptions — 
Designs of the British upon the Mississippi Valley — Mistaken 

xviii Contents; 


belief in the Louisianian's disloyalty — Address to the people 
by the patriotic Committee of Safety — General Andrew 
Jackson in charge of the Southern defenses — British fleet and 
army of investment assembles at Jamaica — Elaborate prep- 
arations for the invasion — The choice of Sir Edward Paken- 
ham to lead the expedition — New Orleans soon seen to be the 
objective — Forces mustered for the defense of the city — 
British land by way of Lake Borgne — Surprise outpost at 
Bayou Bienvenue — Major Viller^'s experience — Jackson 
receives first information of the presence of the British — 
Prompt preparations for repelling invasion — The march to 
the battlefield below New Orleans — Engagements of De- 
cember 23 and 28, and Jan. 1 — Decisive battle of January 
8 — Defeat of the British and death of Pakenham — Victory 
celebration — The part in the battle played by the outlaw- 
smugglers of Barataria — Jackson's tribute to these so-called 


Steam's Solving of the Up-stream Problem . 298 

Importance of western waterways in the industrial and 
commercial development of the Valley — Nature's intent in 
regard to the movement of western commerce — The law 
determining the growth of large cities — The law applied to 
Louisville, Cincinnati, Pittsburg, St. Louis and New Or- 
leans — Rapid growth of New Orleans — Third among Amer- 
ican cities in 1840 — Chicago, a comparatively late-comer — 
The Erie Canal swerves the route of commerce from south- 
ward to eastward — Destructive effects of railroads upon 
river commerce — Flatboats or "broadhorns" as down stream 
commerce carriers — One-way commerce until the steamboat 
appeared — Nicholas J. Roosevelt and the first steamboat 
upon the western waters — The New Orleans, its departure 
from Pittsburg — Arrival at Cincinnati, Louisville, Natchez, 
New Orleans — Monopoly of rights to steam navigation on 
the western rivers under the Fulton and Livingston patents 
— Opposition to the monopoly — Captain Henry M. Shreve — 
Pioneer steamboats — Boat building activities along the 
Ohio — Luxury of Mississippi River steamboat travel — The 
flatboat not superseded by the steamboat as bulk commerce 
carriers down stream — Immense tonnage borne by these 

Contentjf xix 



Slavery's Vain Trek Northwestward . . 313 

Two streams and elements of population in the peopling of 
the upperMississippiValley — Lines of cleavage in Indiana and 
Illinois — Hugh McCullough's advice — Two facts and several 
inferences drawn therefrom — Slavery a paramount issue in 
Indiana and Illinois during territorial times — How the anti- 
slavery provision in the Ordinance of 1787 was avoided — 
Edward Coles and his opposition to slavery in Illinois — 
Birth of Abolitionism — Illinois closed to slave holders, Mis- 
souri becomes their Mecca — Timothy Flint's picturesque 
description of a slave owner's immigration train moving into 

First Sowings of the Dragon's Teeth . . 322 

The question of slavery in the Louisiana Purchase — Mis- 
souri Compromise — Geographical restrictions placed upon 
profitable slave-holding — The agricultural combination 
of cotton, "niggers" and mules — The small-farmer element 
in Missouri — The tide of slave-owner migration deflected to 
Arkansas — Extinguishment of Osage and Quapaw Indian 
titles to lands in Missouri and Arkansas — The thrust of Mis- 
sourians into the Mexican possession of Texas — Some con- 
trasts between "Easterner" and "Southerner" as Missouri 
pioneers — The Platte purchase and its significance — 
"Squatter-sovereignty" in Kansas and Nebraska anticipa- 
tive of the subsequently formulated principle of "self-deter- 
mination" — A far cry from the Ordinance of 1787 to the 
Kansas-Nebraska Bill. 


The Lure of Low-priced Lands .... 329 
Successive land policies of the United State Government — 
Original intent of Congress in the disposition of western 
lands — Speculative land companies — John Cleves Symmes 
and his Ohio holdings — Land speculation and the first finan- 
cial panic — Change of sentiment in regard to public lands — 
Not property of the general government to be disposed of 
at will but of the people to be occupied and used — Thomas 

XX Contents; 


H. Benton and his great advocacy of settler's rights — 
Squatters beyond surveyed areas — Popular condemnation of 
claim-jumping — Protective Land Clubs in Illinois, Wiscon- 
sin and Iowa — How Iowa Land Claims Associations were 
organized and administered — Their heritage from the May- 
flower Compact and the New England Town Meeting — 
Their embodiment of fundamental Democratic principles of 
government by common consent and public opinion — Their 
organization suggestive of the Southern County. 


Two Giants in the Making ..... 339 

The Sac-and-Fox War in Illinois and Wisconsin — Captain 
Abraham Lincoln and Lieutenant JefiFerson Davis brought 
together — Both of Kentucky, Scotch-Irish pioneer stock — 
Their places of birth contiguous — Their migration to differ- 
ent environments — Comparison of their personalities, 
characteristics and political careers. 

The Further Frontier ..... 345 

Boundary problems acquired by the Louisiana Purchase — 
The dispute over the South-west boundary — Spain's out-post 
of Nacogdoches, Texas — Invasion and attack upon Natchi- 
toches threatened — General Wilkinson, Commander-in-chief 
takes personal command along the Sabine — Neutral zone 
agreed upon by the Spanish and American commanders — The 
"Free State of Sabine" — Bloodless victory — The Burr Con- 
spiracy — Spread of population westward in Missouri and Ar- 
kansas — Collisions with the Indians — Further quieting of 
Indian titles. 

Where the Victory Seed of Appomattox was Sown 352 

The winning of Texan independence and its effect upon 
southwestern frontier history — The threat of invasion from 
Mexico — The United States stations an " army of observa- 
tion at Natchitoches — Lieutenant Ulysses S. Grant joins his 
regiment here and begins his military career — An obscure 
period in the life of the great commander — Episodes of his 
fourteen months stay at Natchitoches — Camp Salubrity 

Contents! xxi 


and its beneficial effects upon Grant's health — Social life at 
Natchitoches — Personal reminiscence of the older inhabi- 
tants in reference to Grant — His exemplary record — Horse- 
racing and "brag" playing characteristic amusements of that 
time and vicinity — Grant's departure for the War with 


Those that Followed After .... 363 

Secondary tides of population that poured into the Valley 
following the original pioneers — Irish immigration to Ameri- 
ca — Germans most numerous of foreigners that came to the 
West — Nicholas Longworth and his encouragement of Ger- 
man immigration — Phenomenon of German migration al- 
most the equal of the original "great westward movement" 
of the American people — Plan of a German State in the West 
— The dream of a New Germany in the heart of America 
— The Western Germans in the War between the States — 
Descendants of the Pioneering Germans of the Valley not to 
be confused with later comers as patriotic or non-patriotic 
elements in American citizenship — Missouri and the Santa 
F^ trade — The history of the Earlier West ends when that 
of the later or Prairie West begins. 

Bibliography . . . . . . . 375 

Index 381 



Place D'Armes — Now, Jackson Square — New 
Orleans ..... Frontispiece 

From an old and rare print. 

One of the most historic spots in the Mississippi Valley. 
Here, colonial governors during the French and Spanish 
dominations of the Valley, were received, presented their 
credentials and issued their proclamations. Here, the 
formal ceremony marking the transfer of sovereignty over 
the Valley — from France to Spain, from Spain back to 
France and from France to the United States — was staged 
at each successive change of authority. 

Robert Cavalier De La Salle, Prince of Ameri- 
can Explorers ...... 32 

Seigneur of New France; Chevalier of old France; central 
figure in the early explorational history of the Valley who 
named the region drained by the Mississippi and its tribu- 
taries, Louisiana. 

Cabildo, or Capitol During the Spanish Domina- 
tion OF THE Mississippi Valley ... 96 

From a recent photograph. 

Now, the domicile of the Louisiana Historical Society and 
its priceless collections. From one of the small balconies 
shown. President McKinley delivered the commemorative 
■ address featuring the centennial celebration of the acquire- 
ment of Louisiana by the United States. 

Ceremonial of the Transfer of Louisiana to the 
United States ...... 206 

From a painting owned by the Louisiana Historical Society 
and reproduced by special permission. 




Showing Place d'Armes as it appeared before its embellish- 
ment and conversion into "Jackson Square," and the 
Cabildo and St. Louis Cathedral before their subsequent 
renovation and improvement. 

Chalmette Battle Monument .... 278 

From photo by Stanley Clisby Arthur. 

Commemorating Jackson's Victory over the British in 
the War of 1812, in the so-called " Battle of New Orleans." 

Typical Steamboat Race on the Mississippi . 298 

From an old and rare lithograph, courtesy of Robert 
Glenk, Curator of the Louisiana State Museum. 

The Olympian sport of racing steamboats was of frequent 
occurrence in the heyday of steam navigation on the 
western rivers. The trophy of victory consisted usually 
of gilded deer horns displayed above the pilot house. 

Two Scions of Western Pioneer Stock — Lincoln 
AND Davis ....... 

From photos. 

Lincoln and Davis; born in Kentucky within a few miles 
of each other of migrating pioneer wilderness winners; 
subjected to radically different formative influences; 
destined to become antagonists in one of the greatest con- 
flicts of history, both suffering martyrdom, one in victory 
and the other in defeat. 



Territorial Claims, 1755 . 
Territorial Changes, 1763 
Territorial Changes, 1783 
Territorial Changes, 1800 
Territorial Changes, 1803 
Territorial Changes, 1821 




The Valley as Wilderness 



T^HE Mississippi Valley emerges from the mists 
"*• of a remote past and becomes for the first time 
a more or less definite conception to the historian, 
when as wilderness of empire-like extent it is 
penetrated by certain adventurous spirits the 
records of whose wanderings and explorations can 
never be disassociated from the period of American 
beginnings. In the foreground of every picture of 
this period, stand boldly forth De Soto with his 
panoplied knights and arquebused men-at-arms, 
Marquette in priestly gown with crucifix high-held 
before and La Salle, Prince of American Explorers, 
dream-driven to the conquest of this wilderness 
for France. 

The Valley is next visioned as a great continental 
heart, — Queen-region of the Western World, — 
to whom came wooing mighty nations, their 
struggles for possession epochal though vain. For 
it was the American pioneer of the earlier West 


4 ^te ^allep as; muttxntisi 

who in the end was to win what Europe failed to 

The Trans-Alleghany pioneer at first enacted a 
John Alden-like role. He came, not to speak for 
the distinctive civilization that was potentially 
within himself, but as the rugged representative of 
one still held by leading strings to another and older 
one across the sea. His plea in its intent was for 
the thought, the manners, the customs, the ideals 
of the East from which he came. But the West 
with its untrammeled freedom and largeness 
greeted him promptly with the Priscilla-query of 
old. He soon spoke for himself, and when he did 
there was born of his indomitable spirit a newer 
social phase, a newer institutional development, 
distinctively and characteristically of the new 
world. And when child of his being was mothered 
by this West, there was cradled an infant Democ- 
racy, more lusty, more restless, more alert, more 
insistent than had ever before been sung to by the 
silver-tongued political idealists of any of the 
older sections. 

The explorer in his thirst to be first, the early, 
curiosity-driven traveler of the wilderness ways, 
the profit-seeking fur-trader, accompanied fre- 
quently by missionary priest, the hunter ever ready 
to wrest by force his rights to a domicile and to the 
game beyond the frontier of occupancy, were all 
scouts of an advancing host whose rapid sweep 
westward over the continent is a wonder-tale of 

^Jje Mzit^aaxti JPujSf) of tfje iSmerican pioneer 5 

The skirmishers who followed these scouts were 
the squatters, the one-crop makers, the crowd 
avoiders, the hewer of logs for cabin, stockade or 
post first to go up beyond the outermost settle- 
ment limits, many of them moving on from position 
to position as the wilderness retreated. The main 
army of occupation comprised the farmer and 
the stock-raiser, the laborer and the artizan, the 
business and the professional man, the speculator 
and the investor, the industry developer and the 
city maker. 

Unconscious of its own organization, of the 
unity of purpose with which it moved forward, 
of the commands unheard of ears to which it 
responded, this army was surely generaled by a 
Genius which seemed to be directing American 
affairs. Its first recruits were drawn from the 
older States of the Atlantic seaboard; its ranks 
were swelled by immigrants from Europe coming 
over from time to time in numbers exceedingly 

Behind the constantly advancing, irregular 
battle line of this army, focal points developed, 
almost of the nature of concentration camps, seeth- 
ing with feverish, frequently lawless activities, — 
frothy forerunners of the advancing tide of popu- 
lation yet to come. These, in the course of time, 
were to sober down to a recognition of the benefits 
of established order under organized government 
and to a respect for law under governments of their 
own establishment. 

6 Wbt "^allep ai Milhttnt^i 

As the line of the frontier progressed onward, 
schools, churches, newspapers and other instru- 
ments contributive to community uplift and the 
public good began to operate, paying little defer- 
ence, however, to older traditions. Industries also 
began to differentiate, each in its development to 
win for its workers subsistence, competency, wealth. 
The complex took the place of the simple in the 
Westerner's relation to his neighbor, to his com- 
munity, to his church and to his State. 

The rapidity with which the so-called Middle 
West was peopled after the movement began is evi- 
dent from the speed with which the several 
geographical areas attained successively a popu- 
lation sufficient to entitle them to the dignity of 
Statehood. Kentucky was, up to and during the 
American Revolution, a "dark and bloody ground " 
roved over by marauding bands from Indian tribes 
in regions north and south of it, — a domain un- 
tenanted by whites except for the handful of 
hunter-frontiersmen among whom Daniel Boone 
gained distinction. 

The war had hardly closed before Kentucky was 
ready for Statehood; eight years after, it was 
admitted to the Union and nine years thereafter it 
had displaced five of the original thirteen States in 
rank according to population. 

At the time Kentucky was admitted, Ohio had 
a few sparse settlements along its southeast edge. 
In twelve years it had people enough to form a 
State. In seventeen years it reached the fifth 

^fje Hesttoarb $U)Sfj of tfje ^mtvitan pioneer 7 

place among the States in population. The 
growth of Tennessee, Indiana and Illinois was no 
less phenomenal. 

Small wonder was it that English travelers seek- 
ing locations in the West for colonies of their 
countrymen would frequently report to the effect 
that all America appeared to be moving westward. 
Dr. Ferrero, the Italian historian, considers it 
nothing less than a miracle by which American 
civilization spread in little less than fifty years 
from the Atlantic to the Pacific. "It were as if 
the whole American Nation," says he, "uncon- 
sciously or almost unconsciously was being driven 
forward by a superior, not to say a mystic force, 
to reach in pain and travail the goal of its destiny" 
— the conquest and the occupancy of the continent. 

It is well to recognize with this eminent Italian 
the dynamic element in human progress. Un- 
questionably there have always played upon 
humanity social forces as physical forces play upon 
matter and substance. The basis of the latter is, 
of course, gravitational; that of the former, psy- 
chological. Both conform definitively to "that 
which produces change in the object acted upon." 
Both have points of similarity in their operations 
and results. The forces, however, that manifest 
themselves in wars and migrations; in the progress 
and decay of nations; in aggregating and disrupting 
political groups; in building and breaking down 
social structures; in developing or disintegrating 
institutions; in governing the thought, inspiring 

8 ^f)t ^allep ag miMvm^i 

the conduct and prompting the action of individual 
community, State or nation, are necessarily much 
more complex than those which act upon the 
atoms, molecules and masses of inert substance. 

And as complex physical forces may be analyzed, 
so we may resolve into primary elements any social 
force that impels an individual to uproot himself 
and make his home elsewhere; a group to break 
the ties binding it to an older society and place 
itself amidst pioneer conditions to form a new; a 
race to change its habitat and subject itself to 
different climatic and geographical influences 
affecting its ways and modes of life; a nation to 
compel or promote the migration of large bodies of 
its citizens or to plant colonies so that its juris- 
diction may jump to distant parts. When we do 
so resolve this impelling social force we find upon 
final analysis that it is made up of two basic 
elements, — Lures and Urges, — either or both of 
which operate to bring about movement or action. 

The love of adventure; the fascination of dis- 
covery, the craving for novelty; the possibility of 
acquiring valuable land at little or no cost; the 
promise of ease of subsistence, owing to an abund- 
ance of game with the accompanying pleasures of 
the chase; above all, the expectation of bettering 
one's self in any one of a number of ways, are 
all Lures that appeal with greater or less 

The threat of famine; the growing scarcity of 
unoccupied productive lands and soil-exhaustion of 

Zfit Siesittoarti ^u^fj of tfje American pioneer 9 

lands long cultivated; the lack of occupational 
opportunities due, at times, to changing economic 
conditions; the irksomenessof restraint, either of law 
or of social custom ; the desire to escape poverty or to 
bear it under less humiliating circumstances; 
intolerableness of local, social, political and relig- 
ious restrictions, are all Urges inciting — sometimes 
compelling — abandonment of an old environment 
and movement to a new. 

Let us also note that the instinct in man to move 
westward seems to be a basic one. Whenever he 
determines upon a change, unless insurmountable 
natural and climatic barriers, or antagonistic races 
interpose to deflect his movements, he seems im- 
pelled to take the course of the sun in its apparent 
progress towards the western horizon. Perhaps 
the student of racial or social psychology or 
advanced anthropology will in time solve for us the 
mystery of this cosmic urge which has peopled 
Europe by successive migrations of races from Asia, 
which has peopled the two Americas from Europe, 
which has peopled the Middle West from the 
Atlantic States and Europe, which has peopled the 
far West from the States East. ' 

If we are to interpret intelligently the life and 

' Since the above was written, accounts of experiments in Anticinesis 
of Dr. Raphael Dubois of the University of Lyons, France, have 
appeared in public prints. By means of ingenious apparatus Dr. Dubois 
demonstrates that all forms of life instinctively move in a direction 
contrary to that of a moving rotating object upon which they are placed. 
His conclusions are applied to characteristic migrations and distributions 
of plant and animal life, including man, on the surface of the revolving 

10 t^fje ^allep as( flilbernegsf 

work of the conquerors of the earher West, or of 
any other great pioneer movement recorded in 
history, it is well to keep in mind this instinct and 
to note the social forces back of the movement. 
Knowing the Lures which the wilderness West held 
forth, the Urges which from time to time impelled 
or compelled movement westward and the physical 
or racial barriers which temporarily impeded or 
diverted the flow of moving population, we shall 
have a better understanding of the remarkable 
phenomenon which the rapid peopling of the West 
presents. It will then cease to be a mystery to us 
for it is made to come within our comprehension as 
the result of natural forces controlled by natural 
laws acting naturally upon psychically controlled 
individuals and social groups impelling to better- 
ment and progress. 

Nor must we lose sight of the fact that while the 
population of the West increased as rapidly as it 
did, there was a material development going on 
correspondingly as rapid. Forests gave away to 
clearings; clearings to hamlets; hamlets to towns; 
towns to industrial and commercial centers, some 
of which have become great world cities of to-day. 
The "chug" of the cabin builder's ax was lost in 
the screech of the modern saw-mill. The swish of 
sweep and throb of rowlock — sounds signaling 
commerce and travel on western waterways — were 
silenced by the coughing of low pressure engines, 
the water-slappings of revolving paddle wheels, the 
panther-calls of steam-expelling whistles, as float- 

^fje 2i9ie£(ttaartr J^ugfi of tfje ^mtxitan pioneer 1 1 

ing palaces made their way up or down streams 
which once knew only the canoe, the pirogue, the 
keel-boat and the broadhorn. 

Blazed trails have turned into wagon roads; 
"Indian traces" and buffalo paths into highways; 
wagon roads and highways into toll-exacting turn- 
pikes, and these last into feeders of secondary 
importance to the twin strips of steel, which 
progress and invention have contributed to modern 
transportation needs. The wayside cabin once 
offering meager but welcome accommodations to 
the traveler in the West of old found its patronage 
drawn to inns, as soon as these picturesque 
hostelries, bustling with life, having office, lobby, 
lounging room and bar in one, came upon the 
scene. Inns, in turn, gave way to ho-ieh whose 
plush and tinsel furnishings, to the rawer tastes 
of that earlier day, bore the hallmark of perfect 
elegance. And now hotels are relegated to 
the background by sky-scraper palaces, each 
accommodating a thousand guests, with appurte- 
nances and comforts for the ordinary traveler which 
Royalty itself once deemed inaccessible luxuries. 

With what clear vision did Jonathan Carver, 
who as early as 1766 conceived the idea of crossing 
the continent to the Pacific, prophesy of this mid- 
west region whose possibilities he was so quick to 

"To what power or authority," said he, "this new world 
will become dependent after it has risen from its present 
uncultivated state, time alone can discover. But as the 

12 ®fje '¥alUp ai Miltitvmii 

seat of empire from time immemorial has been gradually 
progressing towards the West, there is no doubt but that 
at some future period mighty kingdoms will emerge from 
these wildernesses and stately palaces and solemn temples 
with gilded spires reaching to the skies supplant the Indian 
huts whose only decorations are the barbarous trophies of 
their vanquished enemies." 

Prophet though he was, little did he foresee that 
within less than one hundred years of the period 
of his own existence, the empire of his dreams 
would be realized ; that within so short a time there 
would emerge from these wildernesses a kingdom 
without king, a mighty mid-continent realm ruled 
by public opinion and common purpose, the 
expression of which has been so potent in shaping 
the destinies of the American RepubUc of which 
it became a part. 



PHYSIOGRAPHIC conditions bear very im- 
portantly upon man in his migrations, his set- 
tlement-makings, his occupation-followings, his 
industry-buildings, his town and city locatings, his 
ways of life and even his evolution as to distinctive- 
ness of type and his development as to character. 

Before taking up that part of the Valley's history 
which begins with its two foreign dominations and 
ends with the influx of English-speaking settlers 
and pioneers whose inflowing displaced these 
dominations, it were well to note something of the 
Valley itself, its surface features that bore upon 
travel and transportation and the primitive aids 
in moving from place to place employed during the 
period of its pioneer beginnings. For there could 
have been no conquest of the Valley to civilization's 
use without movement and no rapidity of conquest 
without natural and devised facilities of travel. 

Aside from the use of waterways, the Indian, in 
getting from one part of the country to another, 
depended upon his own powers of locomotion. He 


14 ^te "^allep ai Slliltiernejfg 

had his trails or "traces" which became more or 
less plainly defined paths according to the frequency 
with which they were used, it being his practice to 
travel over them in single or "Indian file." These 
trails usually followed the banks of streams, 
making detours to avoid low bottoms and swamps. 
Smaller branches and creeks were crossed by ford 
when shallow and by a "Raccoon Bridge" — a tree 
trunk felled to fall from bank to bank, — when too 
deep to be waded. 

Many of these Indian trails extended for great 
distance across the country. For instance, one led 
from the mouth of the Missouri River to the Hot 
Springs of Arkansas, passing through points where 
are now located the cities of St. Louis, Cape 
Girardeau, Little Rock and Benton. At Hot 
Springs the trail divided, one fork going south 
through the country of the Caddodoquis in North- 
west Louisiana and on to that of the Natchitoches. 
The other branched to the southeast down the 
Ouachita River to where Monroe, La., now stands, 
then southwest to where it verged to the other 
fork where the town of Natchitoches is now. In the 
Ohio valley these trails and traces were particu- 
larly numerous. 

Every Indian village had its trails leading to 
various hunting grounds and to other villages. It 
was the common practice for Indians from different 
tribes to meet upon stated occasions at some 
central point for barter and trade. Trails would 
therefore converge at this point. Where two 

l^rabel Ma^& of €arlj> Bapjf 15 

nations were hostile and their feuds were carried on 
from generation to generation, trails would in time 
be deeply marked by war parties going back and 
forth. There were, therefore, before the white 
man came, traces for long journeyings and trails for 
trade, hunting and war. 

But antedating the Indian trails and traces were 
the paths beaten out by animals going from grazing 
ground to grazing ground or converging to salt licks 
and springs. Some of these showed the wear of 
thousands of years of travel, being beaten down 
as deep as five or six feet with a width sufficient to 
allow two wagons to pass abreast. 

The prairie region of Illinois and other grazing 
areas of the West were particularly well marked 
by these paths. They proved very serviceable 
indeed when the settlers came. For those who 
settled the open stretches, unlike their forerunners 
who settled and cleared the wooded areas, were 
provided with vehicles or animals of burden. An 
unbroken prairie with its tangle of high growing 
grasses would have been difficult to cross but for 
the animal paths which facilitated progress. 

These paths were made principally by buffaloes, 
which in pioneer days were as numerous east of the 
Mississippi as they were afterwards known to be 
west. A buffalo path could be counted upon as 
being the shortest practicable passageway between 
two points and both Indians and whites availed 
themselves of the sagacity of these animals, — the 
Indian using the buffalo paths for his traces and 

i6 tlTfje ^allep a& Milbttnti^ 

the white pioneer for his pack-train trail and high- 
way whenever he could do so. Indeed it is said 
the buffalo paths penetrating the valleys of the 
Alleghanies gave backwoodsmen and hunters 
their clues to practicable gaps and passes through 
the mountain barrier, by which they reached the 
regions beyond. Boone's road through Cumber- 
land Gap was originally a buffalo path upon which 
was superimposed an Indian trail, the two coincid- 
ing for some distance into Kentucky where the 
buffalo path turned south to where Boonesborough 
is now, while the trail part continued on to the 
"Falls of the Ohio" where the city of Louisville 
now stands. The pioneer made this last his main 
highway into and through Kentucky, calling it 
"The Wilderness Road." It had an important 
bearing upon Kentucky's development for it 
permitted the settlement of that region at a time 
when hostile Indians held the upper reaches of the 
Ohio, preventing travel to Kentucky by water. 

So when mention is made of the western wilder- 
ness of pioneer days, it is not to be mentally pic- 
tured as all but impenetrable ; or one through which 
its winners had to hack and hew their way; or one 
whose edges were ground farther and farther back 
under a figurative friction of contact with ad- 
vancing areas of dense occupancy. As a matter 
of fact, the Mississippi Valley was gridironed 
with trails and paths long before the coming of the 
first explorer. By these, the pioneer could deter- 
mine the direction of his movements. They 

WxaM Mapjf of €arlj> Bapji 17 

enabled the Indian trader and fur buyer to pene- 
trate to astonishing distances long before the 
coming of the settlers. The trails and paths and 
the currents of streams were lines of least resist- 
ance, each serving as an axis along which the crys- 
tals of civilization, in clusters and groups of cabins 
and hamlets, formed themselves. 

The Indians of the so-called Middle West, with 
the exception of the Chickasaws who seem to have 
had an unnatural dread of travel by water, were 
constant users of its waterways. In the upper 
part of the Valley they evolved in their canoes 
a type of water vehicle of exceeding lightness. 
These were built of bark with cedar splints and 
spruce ribs. The reason for their lightness lay 
in the frequency with which they had to be lifted 
from the water, either for the purpose of conceal- 
ment when not in use, or for changing streams in 
going long distances. 

The carrying place from stream to stream was 
called a portage by the French, who, with the 
exception of De Soto, the Spaniard, were the first 
whites to enter the Valley. It was located usually 
where two streams flowing in opposite directions 
approached nearest, which, as a rule, was near their 
headwaters. Short portages were popular and 
determined main routes of travel. The Indians 
knew of their location long before the coming of 
the whites, frequently imparting information of 
them to the latter. As these portages figure very 
conspicuously in the chronicles of the early comers 

1 8 Wbt 'Fallep ajf Miltttnti^ 

to the Valley it is well to note those of historic 

The Great Lakes and their outlet, the St. 
Lawrence River, lie at the bottom of a depression 
in the earth's surface. Geologists designate this 
the Laurentian Basin. Between this and the 
drainage basin of the Mississippi lies the rim 
separating the two. Unlike the mountain ranges 
or great "divides" which Nature usually employs 
for the purpose, this rim is obscurely defined. At 
no place is it very far away from the lake which it 
almost parallels. Its location is indicated by the 
beginnings of rivers flowing in opposite directions. 
Along this rim where these streams have their 
nearest approaches are strung the portages by 
means of which the French, and the Indians before 
them, entered the Mississippi Valley from Canada. 
Ascending any one of a number of rivers flowing 
into the Great Lakes one passed by portage of only 
a few miles to a river whose waters eventually 
reached the Mississippi. 

The St. Croix River near the head of Lake 
Superior takes one to the Mississippi itself. There 
was a portage of only twenty -seven hundred paces 
between the Fox river which empties into Lake 
Michigan and the Wisconsin River which flows to 
the Mississippi. It was by this route that Mar- 
quette entered the Valley. It would have been 
the favored route of the French, as being the most 
direct one from Canada to the Mississippi by way 
of the straits of Mackinaw, had it not been closed 

^xaM Mayi of €arlj> 3iaj>s; 19 

to them after the year 1699 by the hostihty of the 
Fox Indians. 

At the lower end of Lake Michigan one could go 
by canoe up the Chicago River to within a mile of 
the Des Plaines and down that stream to the 
Illinois and Mississippi. This route was also 
closed to the French (1718) by the hostility of the 
neighborhood Indians who were incited by the 
Iroquois of New York, those implacable enemies of 
the French from the very beginning. 

South of the Chicago River are the two Calumet 
rivers, one of which rises within portage distance of 
the Des Plaines and the other within similar distance 
of the Kankakee, another branch of the Illinois. 
In southwest Michigan and northern Indiana is 
the St. Joseph River which had a portage of between 
three to five miles to the Kankakee, and another 
of nine miles to the Wabash connecting with the 
Ohio. The Wabash was also reached from the 
Maumee River in northwestern Ohio from which 
portage could be made to the Kankakee to get to 
the Illinois country, or the Wabash employed to 
get to the Ohio and from the latter's mouth up or 
down the Mississippi. This was the most important 
line of communication between Montreal, Quebec 
and Detroit at one end, and either New Orleans or 
the Illinois settlements at the other. 

The most direct routes from Canada to the 
Valley would have been south from Lake Erie 
across what is now the State of Ohio to the Ohio 
River. The Indians knew and used these to 

20 Z^t '^alltp as; Hilbemegs; 

advantage. But here again the influence of the 
Iroquois prevailed to the stoppage of travel. 
There was only a one-mile portage between the 
Sandusky entering Lake Erie, and the Scioto 
entering the Ohio, one of eight miles from the 
west branch of the Cuyahoga, to the east fork of 
the Muskingum, and a shorter one from the east 
branch of the Cuyahoga to Bear Creek, which 
enters the Ohio a little below the site of the present 
city of Pittsburg. Had the Iroquois, whom in the 
old days the founder of Quebec, Samuel Champlain, 
unforgivably offended, not served as a veritable 
bulwark against the French, there would have 
been as many settlements in the upper Ohio valley 
as there came to be in Southern Illinois. French 
occupation would also have extended well down the 
Hudson and for some distance south of the "Finger 
Lakes" of Central New York, possibly into Penn- 
sylvania when the time came for the English to 
dislodge them — a time which might never have 
come if the English had been restricted by this 
larger French occupancy to a narrow strip along 
the Atlantic Coast. 

If the English were as disposed to make long 
journeys by way of inland rivers as were the 
French, they might have employed practicable 
portages in Pennsylvania from the Susquehanna 
and Juniata rivers to the Alleghany fork of the 
Ohio; or from the Potomac to the Monongahela 
fork of the Ohio ; or from any of several North and 
South Carolina rivers to those of eastern Tennessee 

WxaM Mapi of €arlj) ©apiS 21 

which connect with the Ohio. But neither the 
explorational nor the commercial spirit moved 
them until a later day when they rode, walked or 
drove their pack animals through gaps and over 
trails to where they desired to go. 

The area covered by the present State of Louis- 
iana in the lower Mississippi Valley so abounded 
in rivers and bayous as to afford innumerable 
portages. It is said that there is to-day no point 
in an area covering three fourths of the State 
further away from a navigable stream than twenty 
miles. As to streams too shallow for commercial 
traflSc but deep enough for a craft of the lightness 
of a canoe this distance is greatly reduced. 

When the Spaniards came into possession of the 
western half of the valley they faced the possibility 
of having their communication between the upper 
and lower sections by way of the Mississippi, cut, 
in the event of hostilities with those in possession 
of the eastern half. They, therefore, planned a 
complete system of waterway communication by 
which they could pass from New Orleans to the 
vicinity of St. Louis and back without using the 
Mississippi. The route included the Atchafalaya, 
Red, Black and Ouachita rivers in Louisiana; 
Bayou Bartholomew, Arkansas, White and St. 
Francis rivers in Arkansas — the last named stream 
reaching well up into Missouri. In high water 
seasons of the year and in the days before the levee 
systems were developed, this route could be used 
without a single portage. 

22 (Kfje "^allep as; mutitmt^i 

The Indian canoe had reached a development 
approaching standardization before the white man 
came. There was the two-place canoe, twelve 
to fourteen feet in length, carrying two persons 
and three or four hundred pounds of freight. 
There was the four-place canoe, twenty feet in 
length, with a carrying capacity of four persons 
and one or two thousand pounds. Finally there 
was the master canoe, thirty-six feet long, four feet 
wide and two and one-half feet deep with capacity 
enough to carry fourteen persons and a weight of 
freight corresponding to its size. 

In the lower part of the Valley where suitable 
barks such as birch were not to be had, the Indians 
used ' ' dugouts ' ' or hollowed out tree trunks suitably 
shaped. The French gave these the name of pi- 
rogues. They were made preferably of cypress 
because of its lightness, easy cutting qualities and 
durability against decay under water. Some of 
these pirogues were forty to fifty feet in length with 
a carrying capacity of thirty persons and forty 
tons of freight. When the French came to occupy 
the lower Valley with its elaborate and complicated 
network of bayous, lakes, and rivers, they adopted 
the pirogue as their chief means of local travel, us- 
ing it in lieu of saddle horses and vehicles before 
swamps were drained, roadways perfected and 
bridges built. For it should be remembered before 
the day of the levee there was much of marsh and 
swamp along the lower stretches of the Mississippi, 
a condition that prevailed even within the corpo- 

^rabel Wapi of €arlp Baps; 23 

rate limits of the city of New Orleans up to the very 
close of the nineteenth century. The writer in 
his boyhood spent many a Saturday holiday pad- 
dling his pirogue about the swamps "back of town " 
over areas now drained and covered by bungalows 
and surburban villas. Watery roads were cut 
through these swamps in every direction and it 
needed a depth of only one foot of water to float 
the small, light, swift, easily propelled pirogue. 
So cheap and so simply made were these craft, that 
few were the persons who could not afford to own 
one or more. 

When the whites began to develop the naviga- 
tion of the western rivers they immediately began 
to improve upon the stability and carrying capac- 
ity of canoe and pirogue. The French devised 
Bateaux-plats and Radeaux. The first was a flat 
bottomed boat with pointed bow and stern; the 
second approached more closely the type of flat- 
boat with blunt ends, that afterwards became so 
numerous on the western waterways. 

In the course of time the keelboat was evolved 
from the bateau-plat type. It was brought into 
existence by the necessity of transporting freight 
upstream as well as down. A flat-bottomed boat 
persisted in hugging and scraping the shore so that 
it could not, except with great difficulty, be hauled 
up stream by means of a rope running from boat 
to river bank. A keel was found to check this 
lateral swing to shore. A keelboat by means of 
rudder or guiding sweep could be steered parallel 

24 tlDlje ^allep asi Miltrernesis; 

with and distant from the shore, notwithstanding 
the slant of the tow rope with its tendency to turn 
the bow inshore. The keel acted on the principle 
of the center-board of certain sailing craft, which 
has to be lowered when "tacking." 

Keelboats were the early packets of the West. 
They traveled both up and down stream. Flat 
boats, sometimes called "broadhorns" from the 
horn-like projection of their two steering sweeps, 
were used principally as freight carriers down 
stream, being broken up for lumber upon arrival 
at destination. Many a building in the lower val- 
ley was constructed of flatboat lumber. 

The navigation of the Mississippi which began 
as early as 1700 presented many difficulties below 
the mouth of the Missouri. Strong currents, 
puzzling eddies, numerous bends and snags known 
as either "planters" or "sawyers" according 
as they were fixed or oscillated up and down, 
were some of the physical difficulties encount- 
ered. Always haunting its banks, there were 
hostile Indians and renegade whites skilful in 
the use of every device to entice the unwary to 

For mutual protection and assistance, voyages 
were usually made in convoys of from two to 
twenty boats. It was customary for these to leave 
the Illinois country for the trip down stream in the 
early part of February so as to benefit by the extra 
swiftness of the current during the spring floods, 
an advantage of at least two miles an hour over the 

Zva\jtl Mapi of €arlp Baps; 25 

current at low water. In going from New Orleans 
up stream the departure was made as soon after 
the first day of August as possible. This gave 
time to reach the Illinois country, unload and re- 
load and catch the high water for the return voy- 
age. It took from three to four months to make 
the trip up stream and only from twelve to twenty- 
five days down. 

An additional hardship in going up stream was 
the many bends that had to be rounded, some of 
which required a detour of fifty miles to progress 
five. To avoid the centrifugal sweep of the strong 
current, the inside of the curve of each bend had to 
be taken. As these bends were many and sinuous 
they compelled many crossings and recrossings 
from shore to shore to take the inside of course. No 
crossing could be made without a dropping back of 
at least a half mile under the force of the mid-stream 
current. One voyage from New Orleans to St. 
Louis recorded three hundred and ninety of these 
bends on the way. 

In going down stream the mid-river current 
could be followed all the way and the voyage made 
with only guiding effort. It was usual, however, 
to tie up at night, as snag and sand-bar dangers 
were not discernible in the dark. The difference 
in time and labor between working up and drifting 
down stream was such as to make a considerable 
difference in the charges for freight and passage, 
according to the direction traveled. Even early 
steamboats upon the western rivers continued this 


26 tKte ^allep as; Hilbernejfsi 

difference when fixing their schedules of fares and 
freight tariffs. 

It is well to remember that when the time came 
for the English-speaking pioneers and settlers to 
make their way into the Valley, they were favored 
by a number of circumstances. In the first place, 
the powerful Iroquois tribes of central New York 
were not as ill-disposed towards the English as 
they were towards the French. New England- 
ers, therefore, had a comparatively easy route to 
the West by way of the Mohawk valley to either 
Lake Erie or to the Alleghany river. In the next 
place, the expedition of General Braddock and 
that of General Forbes against Fort Du Quesne — 
afterwards Pittsburg — had made known at least 
two practicable routes to the Ohio from the eastern 
seaboard, over which those who migrated westward 
from New Jersey, south-eastern Pennsylvania and 
northern Maryland could journey with compara- 
tive ease. The one from Fort Cumberland to 
Wheeling was of such grade and directness that it 
became in time a "main traveled," government- 
supported road for both freight and travel. 

Normustitbeforgottenthat the date, October 10, 
1774, is a very significant one in any narrative of 
the peopling of the Middle West, for it was upon 
that day that General Lewis with a force of Vir- 
ginians crushingly defeated Chief Cornstalk and his 
powerful following of hostile Indians at the battle 
of Point Pleasant at the junction of the Kanawha 
and Ohio rivers. These Indians had been holding 

tKrabel Haps; of d^arlp Bapsi 27 

the upper reaches of the Ohio against use by the 
whites. This victory cleared the way for the on- 
coming army of settlers who were thenceforth free 
to build their flatboats at the head of the Ohio in 
which to make the long drift-voyages down that 
stream, voyages that expedited to a marked extent 
the rapid peopling of the one-time wilderness. 

A French Possession 




'T'HE formal history of the Mississippi Valley 
-■• begins with the invasion of that region by 
Hernando De Soto, the Spaniard. This leader of 
indomitable will and unswerving purpose was an 
ex-conquistadore whose spurs had already been won 
on the west coast of South America when Spain 
first began her inroads into that continent. He 
had retired to his Iberian home with the enjoyment 
of great booty as well as great beauty, for he had 
wedded the Castilian dame of his choice and had 
surrounded himself with every luxury. There was 
no reason why he should be lured from his life of 
ease, to subject himself for a second time to the 
dangers and hardships of adventuring in the New 
World, except inordinate ambition. 

For he had listened to a,nd believed in the Mun- 
chausen tales of one Cabeza de Vaca who, wrecked 
on the gulf coast of Florida, had made his way 
overland to Mexico, bringing back with him a won- 
drous narrative of races and rich countries encoun- 
tered on the way. Here to De Soto seemed Op- 
portunity. He visioned a second Aztec or Inca 


32 ^ jfrencf) ^oi^e^siion 

empire where deeds might be performed by him 
that would outshine those of Cortez in the latter's 
mastering of Mexico; where wealth won by him 
would dim to lesser dazzlement Pizarro's plunder- 
ings of Peru. 

De Soto showed the faith that was in him by 
fitting up an expedition at his own expense. No 
conquering nor exploring enterprise more com- 
pletely equipped, more dominated by collective 
courage as well as individual bravery; nor more 
inspired by hope, by the love of adventure, by a 
disposition to challenge Fate to a gamble for big 
stakes, ever left the shore of the Old World to make 
its invading mark upon the New. 

It consisted of six hundred picked men, knights, 
soldiers, and artisans. Camp followers, workers, 
and servants were to come from native races to be 
subdued. Truly they made a gala show at the 
final muster before departure. The landing was 
made at Tampa Bay, Florida (1539) . The first line 
of march taken up led northward from Indian vil- 
lage to Indian village until the red hills of what is 
now North Georgia were reached. 

No gold, no Montezumas, no natives living in 
luxury and affluence to yield their tributes and ran- 
soms to invading conquerors were encountered on 
the way. Only the Indian in his savage state, 
elusive, loath to welcome the arrival but prompt 
to speed the departure of these unwelcome guests. 
Brow-beaten into furnishing food supplies from 
their scanty stocks these natives revenged them- 


Robert Cavalier De La Salle, Prince of American Explorers 

Seigneur of New France; Chevalier of Old France; central figure in the early explo- 
rational history of the Valley, who named the region drained by the Mississippi and its 
tributaries, LOUISIANA. 

©reams; of €mjpite 33 

selves by sending the Spaniards on to further hard- 
ships by telling them that only a little way beyond, 
and that which was being sought would surely 
there be found. 

From North Georgia the expedition proceeded 
south westward across the present State of Alabama. 
At Mauvilla, an Indian village not far from the 
present site of Mobile, a nightmare of sudden 
attack and deadly battle was experienced. When 
wounds had healed the march was again taken up. 
Stripped of their white-god attributes and proved 
to the satisfaction of their Indian foes, by the acid 
tests of flame and battle, to be but human, De Soto 
and his men entered the Mississippi Valley proper 
at its southeast corner and proceeded diagonally 
across the present state of Mississippi up into the 
country of the Chickasaw. In time that famous 
bluff overlooking the Mississippi was reached, where 
the spot-light of history is turned full upon them — 
the first Europeans to view that mighty river in 
its majestic flowing to the sea (1542). 

The river was crossed at this point in the face of 
much hostile opposition. This was no small achieve- 
ment when the perilous circumstances are under- 
stood. On the other side the march led through 
the White River country in the northern part of 
what is now Arkansas, and as far west as the pres- 
ent site of Fort Smith. Still was there no evi- 
dence of the existence of what they sought. Next 
they proceeded south, then southeast down the 
banks of the Arkansas River to its mouth. A little 

34 ^ Jfrencfj ^osijfejfjfion 

distance below where this stream enters the Missis- 
sippi stood the Indian village of Guachoya, in the 
most thickly populated section that the expedition 
had so far passed through. Near this village, 
camp was pitched, — a camp that was to witness 
the tragic climax to their adventures, and the end of 
their long held hopes. For it was here that De Soto 
sickened and died and was buried secretly to 
maintain a myth that he was still alive, lest sur- 
rounding foes exult unduly. Later, his form was 
taken up in the dead of the night and given sepul- 
ture in the river of his discovery which has so long 
and faithfully preserved his memory. 

Bancroft and other historians fix the place of De 
Soto's death and burial near the mouth of the Red 
river in Louisiana. More recently, however, the 
expedition's route of travel has been gone over 
very carefully and the places mentioned in the two 
principal original narratives of the expedition, 
identified. The evidence seems to be indisputable 
that Guachoya was located in the lower end of 
Deshay or upper end of Chicot County in the 
southeastern corner of Arkansas.^ 

Pass now the years, six or seven decades of them. 
We hasten to the time when the French gain their 
first feeble foothold in Canada, Quebec being es- 
tablished in 1608. The one instance in Colonial 
history where implacable enmity on the part of 
the Indian was incurred by the French, was the re- 
sult of an error of policy upon the part of Samuel 

" See, Lewis: Explorations in the Southwest. 

©reams; of €mpire 35 

Champlain, the founder of Quebec. In the long ex- 
isting feud between the powerful Iroquois of the 
"finger lake" region of central New York and the 
Huron tribes of Canada, Champlain naturally 
sided with the Hurons and aided them in battle. 
For this the French were never forgiven by the for- 
midable confederacy of the Iroquois. 

The Iroquois barred the way to French explora- 
tion southward, otherwise French influence, if not 
possession, might have extended down the Hudson 
to the sea before the Dutch settlement of Man- 
hattan Island. Explorational activities, therefore, 
took a westward trend, Lake Huron coming more 
thoroughly within the ken of the French before 
Lakes Ontario and Erie. For Brule traced the 
shores of this lake as early as 1624, while ten years 
afterwards Nicollet extended the limits of geo- 
graphical knowledge as far west as the Wisconsin 

With the advance of the French this far west- 
ward, rumor came to them of a mighty river to be 
found still further to the west — a river flowing 
southward and doubtless reaching to the great 
South Sea. A desire to know the truth about this 
river soon prevailed. It inspired the Intendant, 
Talon, to entrust the undertaking to Louis Joliet, 
a trader experienced in the business of exploration 
and familiar with the ways of the Indians. 

Joliet repaired to Sault Ste. Marie, — the falls in 
the river connecting Lakes Huron and Superior. 
Here he was joined by Pere Marquette, Missionary 

36 ^ Jfrencf) l^oiit^siion 

Priest, and five Frenchmen described in the chroni- 
cles as "resolute, able, and willing to endure e very- 
hardship in so glorious an enterprise." 

The little expedition made its way to the Wis- 
consin country, ascending the Fox River to the port- 
age by which the Wisconsin river was reached. 
The Indians with whom they came in contact were 
awe-struck at the boldness of the proposed ad- 
venturous voyage to unknown realms lying far 
to the south. They told weird tales of the enormous 
monsters to be encountered in the lower reaches 
of the great river which the Frenchmen proposed 
to descend. Doubtless the alligators so numerous 
near its mouth were the basis of these expressed 

Unheeding all warnings Marquette and Joliet 
continued on their way. They arrived at the 
mouth of the Wisconsin June 17, 1673. Here we 
have the second great picture hung on the line in 
the gallery of Western wilderness history, — De Soto 
and his men on the Chickasaw Bluff being the first. 
We see the little band of Frenchmen in their canoe 
floating out of the mouth of the Wisconsin into the 
Mississippi and starting on their voyage down 
stream, the saintly Farther Marquette standing in 
the bow of the canoe holding high his crucifix as if 
he would have it light his way upon his adventurous 

Of this historic voyage, Father Marquette 
himself has left a quaint and interesting "relation." 
He speaks of slowly and peacefully floating with 

Breams oC €mpire 37 

the stream, now south, now southeast, and, at 
times, apparently retracing their course with the 
bends and sinuosities of the river. He notes along 
the shores, the absence of mountains and heavy 
forests to which they were accustomed in the more 
northern latitudes. He writes of beautiful islands 
covered with trees, causing the river to fork, so 
that at times they knew not which branch to take. 
The "wild beef" — buffaloes — came under his ob- 
servation. He tells of the precautions that had to 
be taken, night after night, against surprise by 
possible savage enemies, never landing for a camp 
but anchoring their canoe a safe distance from shore 
and thus passing the night with a sentinel con- 
stantly on watch. 

But savages were met with and found not always 
hostile. At least one instance is given where the 
voyagers landed and were given royal entertain- 
ment in the way of a great feast. The menu 
consisted of corn meal boiled in water and seasoned 
with grease; deliciously cooked fish, — doubtless 
the famous Mississippi cat-fish, known when served 
in restaurants as tenderloin trout; a large dog 
newly killed and roasted to a turn; buffalo meat, 
which doubtless was received with greater favor 
by the French guests than chien roti. And as they 
sat around the festal board Indian fingers skilfully 
divided the various foods into tempting morsels 
and thrust them into the mouths of the guests, a 
mark of signal honor and respect which it were not 
wise for the guests to reject. 

38 ^ jfttntf) S^oHit^^ion 

And thus adventuring, the expedition proceeded 
down stream until the mouth of the Arkansas was 
reached. Here they considered the evidence con- 
clusive, that the great river upon which they had 
been floating these many weeks, really did con- 
tinue to the sea. So they turned back, and, with 
much slower rate of travel up stream than that 
with which they had descended, they laboriously 
made their way and, in time, reached Canada. In 
reporting the results of their travels they gave the 
seigneurs and habitans of the St. Lawrence Valley 
something to think about, something to dream 
about, something to inspire the budding genius of 
New France and arouse determination to make 
this boundless West France's very own. 

Living at this time in Canada, and himself en- 
gaged in explorational enterprises was one Robert 
Cavalier de La Salle, protege of Count Frontenac, 
Governor of Canada at that time. He was a na- 
tive of Rouen, France; born in 1643; educated a 
Jesuit; possessed of great physical strength and 
endurance; energetic of character; resourceful in 
emergencies; dominant of will; never inclined to 
deviate from a fixed purpose, and withal, concealing 
under a cold, austere exterior a fiery ambition to 
become famous, to blazon his name among the 
illustrious ones whose part in the making of the 
world's history is that of empire building. 

La Salle, upon his arrival in Canada, had estab- 
lished himself just below Montreal, bestowing the 
name La Chine upon his homestead. But he was too 

Breamsf of Cmpire 39 

restless a spirit to settle down to the life of a seig- 
neur — a sort of lord-of-the-manor, with his habit- 
ans and engagees around him. Receiving Fronte- 
nac's permission to explore the region south of the 
lakes. La Salle sold his place of La Chine and with 
the proceeds bought four large canoes, engaged four- 
teen men and two Indian guides and set out from 
Montreal July 6, 1669. This was before Mar- 
quette and Joliet had received similar authority 
to explore more to the west. 

Accompanying La Salle were a Sulpician mission- 
ary — M. Dolliere de Casson — and the Abbe Gal- 
linee. The party reached Lake Ontario in the early 
part of August following, and made the discovery 
at its further end of the falls of Niagara. Continu- 
ing on they arrived at Lake Erie where La Salle 
was taken ill. About this time de Casson and 
Gallinee branched off from the expedition and be- 
took themselves to the Lake Huron region in search 
of copper which they had heard was to be found 

La Salle and his men continued their explora- 
tion south of Lake Erie and in time arrived at the 
Ohio River making their way as far as its falls, 
where Louisville was afterward built. Here La 
Salle was suddenly abandoned by his men, the de- 
serters leaving him little to sustain him on that 
long 400-league solitary journey back to Canada. 
The journey, however, was finally accomplished, 
and chagrined at his having had thus to abandon 
the enterprise he took up the life of a trader for 

40 ^ JfrencJ) H^oiitiiion 

a while, serving as interpreter for Frontenac be- 
cause of his knowledge of the Iroquois and other 
tongues which he had acquired preparatory to 
dedicating himself to exploration work. 

With the return of Marquette and Joliet with 
the news of that farther West and its great 
river, La Salle was inspired anew. He visioned a 
great French empire in the heart of the American 
continent. He assumed that the great river made 
known by Marquette and Joliet poured into that 
great "South Sea" which was first beheld and 
waded in by Balboa. He arrived at the convic- 
tion that that river and sea was the long sought for 
passageway through the American continent to 
China and the Indies of the far East. He planned a 
chain of forts extending in a crescent from Mon- 
treal to the Mississippi's mouth that would not 
only guard the right-of-way but would give France 
possession and dominion and enable her to hedge 
the English into narrow confines. 

To secure financial backing for a new expedition, 
La Salle set out for France, bearing a letter of in- 
troduction from the Count de Frontenac to the 
French minister. "He is an intelligent and very 
able man," says Frontenac in this letter, "the 
ablest of all known to me here to undertake any en- 
terprise or exploration with which he may be en- 
trusted, because of his perfect knowledge of the 
country and its conditions, which you may ascer- 
tain if you will give him but a few moments 

2iream£f of Cmpire 41 

La Salle found a warm supporter in the Prince 
de Conti through whose influence he was honored 
with a patent of nobility for his past services as an 
explorer. He was also given the command of Fort 
Frontenac (Kingston, Canada) upon condition that 
he replace the stockaded fortifications with stone. 
The King granted him at the same time the right 
to continue his explorations both south and 

La Salle's family, inspired by his success and by 
the favor shown him at the French court, now 
rallied to his financial assistance. In returning 
to America he took with him upon the recom- 
mendation of the Prince de Conti, an experienced 
chivalrous soldier of fortune in the person of Henri 
de Tonti, who in the trying years that followed 
was to serve him with undeviating loyalty, faith- 
fully and well. Tonti had lost a hand through the 
premature explosion of a grenade in one of the wars 
in which he had participated, and he had substi- 
tuted for the missing member an iron hook which 
he wielded with great skill. 

And here the Muse of History pauses to regard 
this pair, — Seigneur of the Iron Purpose and Cheva- 
lier of the Iron Hand. She writes their deeds 
upon the choicest of her pages devoted to the Val- 
ley's early chronicles of heroism and adventurous 
achievement. Towns, counties and city streets 
from one end of the Valley to the other commemo- 
rate the fame and perpetuate the name of the in- 
domitable leader. But we must not forget that 

42 ^ Jfrencl) l^oi^tisiion 

possibly that name would now shine with lesser 
luster had it not been for the sustaining faith and 
unconquerable spirit of this loyal and able and 
comparatively unknown lieutenant. 



T A SALLE sailed from La Rochelle July 14, 1678, 
•■-^ and reached Quebec the early part of Septem- 
ber. He repaired at once to Fort Frontenac where 
his first task was to construct a bark of forty tons 
to ply on the waters of Ontario. Next he proceeded 
to Niagara where he planned another fort as a 
second link in the line of communications he in- 
tended establishing, and left it to Tonti to com- 
plete. Here above the falls a second bark was 
built, — the ill-fated Griffon, the first to ply on the 
waters of Lake Erie, to the awe and wonderment 
of the natives living on its shores. 

Returning to Frontenac, La Salle completed 
that fort as per agreement and spent the spring of 
1679 in accumulating stores and visiting various 
Indian tribes to select guides for the great under- 
taking for which preparations were being made. 
Again he set out for Fort Niagara where by this 
time Tonti had finished the construction. The 
Griffon awaited him at anchor above the falls. 
Everything was now ready for the departure and 
the adventurers set out. 


44 ^ ifrentf) l^oiitniion 

La Salle navigated the length of Lake Erie suc- 
cessfully notwithstanding a severe storm that was 
encountered, entered Lake Huron, stopped at Mich- 
ilimackinac and finally reached the lower end of 
Lake Michigan. Here he traded with the Indians 
to such good effect that the Griffon was heavily 
loaded with valuable furs and pelts, and dispatched 
to Fort Niagara where the furs were to be disposed 
of and needed supplies taken on for the return. 
The Griffon, setting off with the hopes of the owner 
as well as valuable cargo entrusted to its keeping, 
never arrived, however, at her destination. No 
trace of her was ever found. Whether she was 
sunk by storm, captured and destroyed by warlike 
natives or scuttled by her own crew after dividing 
among themselves the valuable cargo which they 
could easily have secretly disposed of through 
traders ignorant of the origin of the purchased furs, 
remains a mystery. 

Meanwhile La Salle, while awaiting the return of 
the 6rri^on,busied himself exploring the region about 
the head of Lake Michigan. By means of a canoe 
he reached the Miami River where he built a stone 
fort. He then went by portage from the Miami 
to the Illinois River and on its banks, January 14, 
1680, built a fourth fort on which he was sub- 
sequently to bestow the name of Creve Cceur, — the 
Fort of the Broken Heart, — because of all the bit- 
ter disappointments and spirit-crushing experiences 
he was to encounter in that vicinity. 

The loss of the Griffon was followed by other 

prince of !3mcrican Cxjplorersf 45 

disasters in succession. La Salle and Tonti had 
repaired to the country of the Illinois confidently 
counting upon entering into friendly relations with 
the natives and there establishing a new base of 
supplies from which to start on his final expedition. 
He found sinister influences at work among the Il- 
linois which he traced to the Iroquois, and certain 
of his men becoming terrified at the tales told by 
the natives of the great dangers that awaited them, 
sought to break up the expedition by poisoning 
their leader. 

With his communications cut by the loss of the 
Griffon, with mutiny rampant among his men and 
increasing hostility around him, nothing remained 
but to leave Tonti in charge and himself take up the 
long journey back to Canada which he did mostly 
on foot. Followed then another year of delay and 
preparations. Finally he returned to the Illinois 
country where he reached the limit as far as dis- 
couragements were concerned. He found the fort 
destroyed and the few supplies and equipment he 
had left there on deposit against his return scat- 
tered and lost. At first he feared catastrophe had 
overtaken Tonti, but the gallant Chevalier had 
managed to hold his men together and had moved 
to a more defendable position for greater safety. 

With the reunion of the leader and his lieutenant 
thus effected, it was determined to lose no further 
time trying to keep in close touch with their Can- 
adian bases, but to strike out at once and upon 
their own resources start on their voyage down the 

46 )3 jfvtntf) $o£fs;esis!ion 

Mississippi. But first. Father Hennepin was sent 
upon a secondary expedition up the Mississippi in 
search of its source. The little party reached 
Minnesota, discovered the falls of St. Anthony, 
where they were captured and held prisoners by 
hostile Sioux Indians. It might have fared ill with 
them had not some French traders who had thus 
early penetrated to this region and established 
friendly relations with the natives, interceded for 
them and secured their release. One of these trad- 
ers bore the name of Daniel Greysolon Dulhut. 
Hennepin did not rejoin La Salle but returned to 
his Canadian abode where in time he was to draw 
up a narrative advancing many claims for his own 
achievements that were afterwards proven to be 
without foundation. 

Headed by La Salle and Tonti, the main party 
set out down the Illinois river to its mouth where 
they entered the Mississippi February 6, 1682. It 
is interesting to note the names of the members of 
this historic party, which, as they are rarely given 
in general works, are here recorded. For it 
seems that men who did what they did in these 
early and primitive times in the Valley deserve, 
at least, mention and not oblivion. There were in 
all twenty-three Frenchmen and eighteen Indian 
warriors accompanied by six squaws and three 
children. Of the Frenchmen there were, first, 
La Salle, commanding for the King; Sieur de Tonti, 
Captain of Brigade; the Reverend Father Zenobe, 
a Recollet priest; the Sieur de Boisrondet; Jacques 

prince of ^mtxican (BxploxttH 47 

Bourdon, Sieur d'Autray; Jean Michel, Surgeon; 
Pierre Prud'homme, Armorer; Jacques la Meterie, 
Notary; Jacques Cochois, Anthoine Bassard, Jean 
Masse, Pierre You, Colin Grevel, Jean de Lignon, 
Andre Henault, Gabriel Barbier, Pierre Migneret, 
Nicolas de la Salle, Andre Boboeuf, Piere Buret, 
Louis Baron, Jean Pignabel, and finally one desig- 
nated as simply La Violette. 

On the way down the Mississippi short stops 
were made at the mouths of the Missouri and Ohio 
rivers. The first landing of importance, however, 
was made in the vicinity of what is now Memphis, 
on one of the Chickasaw Bluffs. A fort was here 
laid out and named Prud'homme after the armorer 
and to commemorate an adventure of his during 
which he wandered away and was lost. Here it 
was that the ceremony of taking possession was 
formally performed. The Notary accompanying 
the expedition attended to all the legal forms and 
made them of record. 

Leaving Fort Prud'homme, La Salle continued 
the voyage down stream. Along the lower reaches 
of the river he encountered a number of hostile 
demonstrations from the natives along its banks, — 
chiefly of the Quinipissas tribe, — but not suffi- 
ciently formidable to deter him from his purpose. 
He finally arrived at the mouth of the river with 
his objective accomplished. Here on April 9, 
1682, he erected a cross blazoned with the French 
coat of arms and by proclamation took formal pos- 
session of the river and all its tributaries, and of 

48 JI Jfrencf) l^oiitsisiion 

all the lands watered by the river and its tributa- 
ries, in the name of Louis XIV, King of France. 
In honor of the French King he named the river 
St. Louis and the land Louisiana. 

With this ceremony performed and this bestowal 
of a name upon the region, the great valley of the 
Mississippi ceases to be an undefined wilderness 
and becomes a geographical entity, its name 
writ large across America's map from Alle- 
ghany's heights to mountains Rocky. Thus 
came into existence a definite area that subse- 
quently was to be subjected to diplomatic attention 
and contended for by nations, and still later to be 
cut up to form many great American common- 
wealths contributing to our country's greatness. 

From the mouth of the Mississippi La Salle made 
his way back to Canada and then to France. Here 
he was indeed well received. Acclaim was show- 
ered upon him. Every facility was now extended 
him to complete the undertaking he had begun, 
which was to hold by occupancy the empire he had 
explored and taken formal possession of. The ships 
Joly and Amiable, the brig La Belle and the ketch 
St. Francis were placed at his disposal. In these 
he set sail with a colony of 250 persons. It is in- 
teresting to note the personnel of this first colony 
from Europe intended to be planted in the Missis- 
sippi Valley. Included among its number were 
twelve young gentlemen, five priests, fifty soldiers 
and twelve immigrant families, all well supplied 
with provisions and implements. 

prince of American explorers; 49 

On the way over La Salle stopped at Petit 
Gouave, San Domingo, a rendezvous for bucca- 
neers, among whom were a number of Germans of 
spirit, too accustomed to the wild times of the Thirty 
Years' War to settle down at the close of that long 
drawn-out conflict. La Salle here enlisted some 
new men, among whom was a German ex-artiller- 
ist named Hans but gallicized, in the original nar- 
ratives, as Hiens, who was to play a sinister part in 
the colonizing expedition. 

The St. Francis, being a slow sailer, was cap- 
tured by Spanish privateers. The remaining 
vessels entered the Gulf of Mexico and sailed north- 
west. The mouth of the Mississippi was missed 
and the expedition coasted along the shores of what 
is now Texas. Failing in their search for the great 
river it was determined to land anyhow. An ex- 
ploring party found an inlet, the channel of which 
they staked, so that the vessels could enter in safety. 
This the Joly and the La Belle did, but the Amiable 
struck a sand bar and soon went to pieces. The 
bay they entered was called St. Bernard and is 
now known as Matagorda. As soon as the colo- 
nists landed, Beujeu, La Salle's naval commander, 
with whom he had never been in agreement, re- 
turned to France leaving the La Belle. But this 
vessel was soon wrecked and the colonists were 
thus thrown wholly upon their own resources. 

Ascent of a river which they named Les Vaches 
(Lavaca) from the cattle-like buffaloes grazing on 
its banks was made. They landed and built Fort 

50 jfxmti) $oiJfe£fgion 

St. Louis. This was in the year 1686. The es- 
tabHshment of this post was to serve one hundred 
and thirty or more years afterward as foundation 
for the claim that Louisiana, the baptismal name of 
the Valley, extended along the Gulf Coast this far 
west, at least, — a claim that was to be compromised 
by agreement upon the Sabine river as boundary 

La Salle made two expeditions to the northeast 
hoping to reach the French posts in Illinois that 
by now had been established by Canadians follow- 
ing the trail he had originally blazed. 

Accompanied by his brother, his nephew and 
eighteen others he made his way well to the east- 
ward in what is now Texas. Here in revenge for 
some fancied injury, Lancelot, one of the men, 
formed a plot against him and was joined by three 
others — Liotot, Hiens and Duhault. The con- 
spirators were successful. La Salle was enticed 
from camp, waylaid, and killed by Duhault, who, 
in turn, was subsequently killed by Hiens in a 

After La Salle's death, the expedition went to 
pieces. The dissatisfied ones joined the neigh- 
boring Indians and in time lost all further identity 
as Europeans. La Salle's brother and six loyal 
ones made their way to the land of the Arkansas 
where a small post had been established by Tonti 
about the time the French were landing at Mata- 
gorda Bay. This was called Arkansas Post and is 
credited with being the first settlement planted 

prince of l^merican (Explorers; 51 

upon the banks of the river discovered by De Soto, 
explored by Marquette and brought within the 
dominion of France by La Salle. 

Here the newcomers told their pitiful tale of 
failure, miscarried plans and disasters. They 
learned that Tonti, faithful as ever, had himself 
made the long drift voyage to the river's mouth to 
meet his superior and the expedition from Europe, 
but had returned from his fruitless quest, little 
knowing the dire need of his old commander sur- 
rounded by treachery in the wilds of Texas. To 
La Salle was not given the work of erecting the 
structure, but upon the foundations laid by him, 
others were to build and pay tribute to his memory 
as planner and designer. 



A LTHOUGH the first French settlements of 
''^upper Louisiana ante-date those of the lower yet 
the more important part played by the latter in the 
early history of the Mississippi Valley, entitles 
them to more than a passing consideration. In 
connection with the establishment of these settle- 
ments there comes upon the scene Pierre Lenoyne, 
Sieur d'Iberville, a Canadian of sturdy Norman 
stock, one of eleven brothers all of whom served 
France faithfully and well. 

The period of American beginnings presents no 
more historic a figure than Iberville. As an officer 
in the Navy of France, he had risen to highest dis- 
tinction. His brilliant exploits in the waters of 
Newfoundland and Hudson Bay during the wars 
with England had stamped him as one of the very 
few naval commanders of Latin extraction who 
have ever succeeded in injecting discordant notes 
into English singings of "Britannia Rules the 

Iberville was commissioned to establish settle- 
ments in lower Louisiana so as to complete the 


Jfrencf) ll^eginningjs in ti)t Hofcoer "^allep 53 

French occupancy of the Mississippi Valley. The 
decision of France to revive the enterprise which 
brought disaster and death to La Salle, was arrived 
at none too soon. The Spaniards of Mexico on 
their mission-planting marches were approaching 
nearer and nearer from the Southwest. Adven- 
turous traders from the Atlantic seaboard were 
already threatening a commercial invasion of the 
lower Valley, similar to what they had already ac- 
complished in the upper. England herself was 
planning to take actual possession of the region 
along the lower Mississippi as a part of her Caro- 
lina grants, which were assumed to extend indefi- 
nitely due west from the Atlantic. If France 
would possess the lower Valley she must occupy 
the territory. 

The first settlement was made in 1699 near what 
is now Ocean Springs, on the Gulf Coast of Missis- 
sippi, upon a beautiful bay named Biloxi from a 
near-by Indian tribe. The fort erected was called 
Maurepas, after the Count of that name, son of 
the French Minister of Marine. The first governor 
was Sieur de Sauvolle, mistakenly assumed by many 
historians to be one of the numerous brothers of 
Iberville, because of a similarity of names. 

The second governor, Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, 
Sieur de Bienville was, indeed, a brother of Iber- 
ville's — a brother in spirit as well as blood. After 
the lamented death of Iberville by fever at Hav- 
ana, Bienville fell heir to all the latter's deter- 
mination to hold the country for France. His 

54 ^ jfvtncf) 3^09iits>siion 

strong personality, his high administrative abilities, 
the persistence with which he held the colonists 
together amid vicissitudes testing to the utmost 
the dauntlessness of his spirit, the enterprise he 
displayed in exploring the surrounding country, 
his tact in dealing with neighboring tribes, the 
facility with which he made enemies among weak 
and ineflficient underlings, his retirement from the 
colony after long years of service, — all find parallel in 
the career of but one other colonial leader in early 
American history, — Captain John Smith of Virginia. 

The water approach to Biloxi being inadequate 
for ships of large size, a more accessible location 
was sought with the intent to establish the chief 
of a number of settlements to follow. Twenty- 
seven-mile Bluff on the Mobile River was chosen. 
The fort here erected was called Fort Louis. The 
location was changed subsequently to the present 
site of the City of Mobile (1710). 

Down stream where the river widens out and its 
waters mingle with those of the Gulf had been 
found an island, containing a large and gruesome 
collection of human skeletons. The discoverers 
called this Massacre Island. Doubtless its beach, 
like other stretches of shifting sand along that 
coast, responded at times to certain tidal touches, 
and moaned weird melodies of its own which the 
superstition of the early settlers interpreted as requi- 
ems over races passed away. ^ A Poe would have seen 

'A number of legends are attached to the "singing sands" of Pas- 
cagoula near by. 

Jfrencfi Peginnmss; in tfje Hotuer ^allep 55 

in the flat low-lying surface of the island, a scroll ; the 
scattered upstanding "shriveled pines" swaying 
to each passing breeze, so many quills wielded by 
invisible hands of giant genii ; the gristly relics scat- 
tered on the sands, white, ghostly, hieroglyphic 
inscriptions recording past calamity. To the 
imaginative French the island seemed a veritable 
"favorite ball-room for the witches of hell"; not- 
withstanding which, after changing its name to 
Dauphin Island, they erected upon it a warehouse 
and a receiving station from which to distribute 
immigrants to the several settlements. 

The records of the French settlements on the 
Gulf coast for the first five years of their existence 
is a record of hardship and disaster, of famine and 
pestilence, of royal funds appropriated and never 
reaching the colony, of vessels setting out over- 
ladened with immigrants, yet delivering but few, 
because of being "pest ships"; of hurricanes de- 
stroying and of pirates robbing and taking their 
toll of supplies intended for the colony; of long 
periods of neglect on the part of the mother coun- 
try, engrossed as she was with threatened dangers 
near at home; of intrigues and bickerings in the 
colony itself. 

Frequently, it was found necessary, because of 
scarcity of food, to quarter the officers and soldiers 
of the colony upon the neighboring Indian villages, 
an arrangement which Penicaut, a chronicler of 
that day naively remarks, was enjoyed by the In- 
dians, especially the Indian maidens, as much as 

56 ^ jfvtncf) Posfsiesigion 

by the French — a statement verified by the bap- 
tismal records of the Mobile colony. Bienville 
complained frequently of the indisposition of the 
colonists to take up useful occupations. The least 
suggestion of work would cause a stampede to the 
Indian villages nearby, where the shirkers would 
be hailed and ministered to as superior beings. In- 
deed, they had not come, in the first place, to clear 
forests, to plant crops, to build dwellings, to found 
permanent settlements, brt in the belief that the 
wool of wild cattle, the ores of rich mines, the pearls 
of the Gulf were to make them rich. 

Traditions of rich copper mines, the origin of 
which was made manifest in after years by the dis- 
covery of the Lake Superior deposits, had come 
down from the upper reaches of the Mississippi to 
these early settlers. Indeed, one of the first acts 
upon landing was to dispatch Le Sueur to the upper 
Louisiana settlements, in search of precious ore.^ 
He returned with what he thought was copper. It 
was sent to France, but seems never to have reached 
its destination. 

In the midst of tragedy and disappointments a 
gleam of comedy shines forth. It had dawned upon 
the French as it dawned upon the English in con- 
nection with the Jamestown colony that the only 
way to insure permanency to the Louisiana colony 
was to provide wives for the settlers. At first 
houses of correction were drawn upon for the pur- 
pose, but, subsequently, a better class of young 

' 1700. 

ifrencfj igeginningg in tfje Hotoer ^Tallep 57 

women were selected. Because these were pro- 
vided with bridal outfits, certificates of character 
and sundry necessary belongings, carried in a small 
trunk, or casket, they are referred to as "Casket 
Girls" {Filles a la Cassette). 

The adulation with which they were received in 
the colony, compared with the subordination, 
which as women they had been subjected to in 
their home country, must have turned their heads. 
In the general scarcity of provisions that prevailed 
at times in the colony, the fastidious tastes they 
affected could not be pampered. Indian fare was 
offered them. Horrors! Were they cows, were 
they pigs, that they should be made to eat corn.? 
Pas du tout! They would show the men a thing 
or two. Thus a "petticoat insurrection" began. 
The men were all locked out of the dwellings. 
Only some well aimed darts of Cupid and many, 
many promises on the part of the excluded spouses, 
who secretly chuckled while they presented som- 
ber masks of anxiety and sorrow, put an end to the 

The establishment of the lower Louisiana colony 
was proving a costly venture to France. At a 
time when she was finding her financial resources 
taxed to the limit, she gladly seized the opportunity 
to put the burden of the colony's maintenance upon 
other shoulders. A bargain was struck, September 
14, 1712, with Antoine Crozat, a merchant of great 
wealth and capacity for business. In consideration 
of his sending at least two ship-loads of settlers 

58 ^ jfxtncf) 5o£fs;eg£fion 

yearly to the colony, and of his bearing a large 
proportion of the expense for the subsequent 
six years, he was granted, for a period of fifteen 
years, seigneurial jurisdiction over Louisiana; per- 
sonal ownership of such landed estates as he might 
develop ; exclusive rights to the trade of the colony, 
free of all taxes and duties; the privilege of import- 
ing annually, one ship-load of negro slaves from 
Guinea, and the authority to nominate the execu- 
tive officials of the colony, subject to confirmation 
by the King. According to the terms of the char- 
ter, the great province extended from New Mexico 
to "the lands of the English of Carolina" and 
"from the edge of the sea as far as the Illinois." 

Under the new arrangement, Antoine de la 
Mothe Cadillac, subsequently identified with the 
early history of Detroit, was sent as Governor. He, 
with an Intendant and two Councilors, constituted 
a Superior Council which directed the affairs of the 
colony and administered "the laws, edicts and 
ordinances of the realm, and the custom of Paris." 
The appointment of Cadillac was a source of cha- 
grin to Bienville and his friends and did not make 
for harmony in the colony. It was felt that 
faithful service had been ill requited. 

News of the approach of the Spaniards to the 
country of the Caddodoquis in what is now north- 
west Louisiana, caused Cadillac to dispatch St. 
Denis to the Red River Country to check their 
advance. St. Denis established the post of Natchi- 
toches (1714), the oldest town in the present 

jfvtncf) ?BesinninB£f in tfte Hotoer "^allep 59 

State of Louisiana. Shortly after, English traders 
began to appear among the Chickasaw and other 
tribes of central and north Mississippi. To count- 
eract these. Fort Rosalie, now Natchez, was built 

Communications by way of the Mississippi with 
the Illinois settlements and even beyond to Canada 
itself had already begun. Many a hardy coureur- 
de-hois transformed himself into a voyageur, — the 
earliest "boatman" to appear on the Mississippi, — 
and in pirogues, or dugouts, hollowed and shaped 
from tree trunks, made many a hazardous trip up 
and down the river. 

Crozat's venture ended in failure. Having a 
monopoly of trade, he could not resist the tempta- 
tion to profiteer, — to over-price his merchandise 
and under-value the furs and other products ten- 
dered him in exchange. This one-sided advantage 
led to indifference as to effort, stagnation as to trade, 
actual loss as to Crozat himself. The profitable 
commerce he had hoped to establish with the ports 
of Mexico and those of other near-by Spanish coun- 
tries failed to materialize. A war with the Nat- 
chez Indians entailed unforeseen and heavy expense. 
In five years he was sick of his bargain and asked 
to be released. 



"V TEXT comes upon the scene John Law and his 

^ famous "Company of the West," a specula- 
tive enterprise of stupendous proportion ending 
in panic and failure of corresponding magnitude. 

Law is described as a Scotchman, a gambler, a 
duellist, a financial schemer, a " tempter of princes 
and a debaucher of colonies!" Notwithstanding 
all of which he was a courtly, polished man of the 
world whose social qualities admitted him upon an 
equal footing to the most exclusive circles of the 
European nobility of that time. 

Unquestionably, Law was a financial genius of 
the highest order. Ideas of his originating are 
interwoven in the fabrics of the soundest of our 
modern financial systems. Methods first em- 
ployed by him, though bringing him and those asso- 
ciated with him to shipwreck upon the rocks of 
financial disaster, are used successfully to-day in 
the exploitation and promotion of so-called Big 

It was Law's idea that a circulating paper cur- 
rency backed by public confidence could be of 


^ ^nhhlt anb its; Pursiting 6i 

larger volume than the coin or redemptive se- 
curity upon which it is based. He demonstrated 
this with such profit and success that his privately 
established bank became the Bank of France. 

He was the first of his time to buy a stock or 
bond on margin for the purpose of inspiring by his 
example such confidence in its future increase of 
value, as to induce the public to invest in it on such 
a scale as to actually bring the price up beyond that 
promised. How many of our so-called money kings 
to-day have done the same. 

Law devised an arrangement whereby a great 
bank acted as fiscal agent to collect and administer 
the revenues of a government. States and mu- 
nicipalities have since resorted frequently to this 
convenient arrangement. 

Law conceived the plan of combining a large 
number of productive and commercial enterprises 
into one great trust, financed and underwritten by 
a great bank. It is startling to think that this was 
over one hundred and fifty years before the same 
idea bore fruit in our present-day, so-called "Bil- 
lion-dollar Trusts." 

The truth of the matter is, Law lived two cen- 
turies before his time. His greatest crime was 
failure, the whole blame for which seems to have 
been imposed upon him alone, when, as a matter of 
fact, disobedient, incompetent, treacherous asso- 
ciates should shoulder the greater share. Though 
he passed from the stage of his activities, a fugitive 
from the fury of enraged mobs, no tribute to his 

62 ^ jfumf) l^oiitiiion 

tremendous abilities should be withheld, no recog- 
nition denied him as being the pioneer preeminent 
in the domain we now designate as High Finance. 

One of Law's leading enterprises brought him 
into intimate relation with the pioneer peopling of 
the Mississippi Valley. Much was said and believed 
in those days about the magnificent possibilities 
and extreme fertility of this new country, the abun- 
dance and richness of its mines, the variety of its 
natural products. Law's Compagnie de la Louisi- 
ane ou d'Occident united the already profitable 
fur trade of Canada with the proprietary ex- 
ploitation of Louisiana. The symbol or "arms" 
of the Company was prophetic of that future 
wealth and prosperity of the Valley which others 
were to enjoy, for it showed the effigy of an old 
river-god leaning upon a horn of plenty. Within 
a short time Law united several trading compan- 
ies with this and gave to the associated companies 
the name La Compagnie des Indes. This "com- 
bine" was given a monoply of the foreign trade of 

Under the original charter, which was to run 
twenty-five years and which was as readily ob- 
tained from the French Ministry as was that of 
Crozat's, the Company of the West, as it was usu- 
ally called, was to have ownership of all mines; 
ownership of all lands it put into cultivation; the 
right to grant lands to its individual stock-holders 
upon condition that these grants be settled and 
improved; ownership of all forts and government 

^ liubble anb itsf J^urjfting 63 

property; power to raise troops and make war upon 
the Indians when necessary, and finally, the right 
to nominate governors and officers. 

The principal obligations it incurred in considera- 
tion of these concessions were, to build churches 
and provide priests; to develop the colony, in- 
dustrially and commercially; to add at least six 
thousand whites and three thousand blacks to the 
colony's population. 

One of the first official acts of the Company was 
to restore the experienced Bienville to the governor- 
ship. One of the first acts of Bienville after re- 
ceiving the appointment was to seek the banks of 
the Mississippi and lay off a city upon the site he 
had long had in mind, — the highest ground to be 
found in that vicinity, — where a short bayou en- 
tering Lake Pontchatrain had its source within 
half a mile of the river bank. This bayou (St. 
John) was afterwards lengthened and deepened 
and is now a "navigation canal " by which the com- 
merce of the lake is brought to the back door of 
the city. 

The city proper as laid out, was of rectangle 
shape fronting one mile on the river and extending 
half a mile back. The river curving along this 
front suggested the pseudonym, "Crescent City," 
although the front of the larger city of to-day is 
more serpentine than crescent. Streets were laid 
off at right angles, dividing the site up into squares 
or "blocks." Mid-way of the river front was re- 
served a plaza or *^Place d'Armes,'' later to be 

64 !3 Jfrencf) 3^oiit^9iion 

known as Jackson Square, now an object of inter- 
est to the tourists for its many historic associations. 

In the naming of the streets royalty was repre- 
sented in "Rue Royale" and "Rue Dauphine." 
The nobility — ^princes, dukes and counts, — were 
represented in "Orleans," "Conti," "Chartres" 
and its continuation, "Conde," "Toulouse," "Du 
Maine," "Bourbon" and "Burgundy." From the 
Saints' calendar came "St. Peter," "St. Philip," 
"St. Ann," and "St. Louis." The first Catholic 
Sisterhood establishing a domicile in New Orleans 
gave its name "Ursulines" to the street upon 
which its convent was built. The name of the 
founder of the City appears in "Rue Bienville." 
"Hospital," "Barracks" and "Custom House" 
(now Iberville), the three remaining streets of the 
original survey, as well as Canal, Rampart and 
Esplanade, streets of the modern City which en- 
close the "Old French Town" on three sides, in- 
dicate the sources from which their names sprung. 

A German immigrant landing in New Orleans 
from Biloxi in 1720, two years after its founding, 
writing to his wife in Europe quaintly describes 
his impression. "I betook myself," he writes, "to 
where they are now beginning the capital. New 
Orleans. Its circumference is one mile [!]. The 
houses are poor and low, as with us at home in the 
country. They are covered with bark and string 
reeds. Everybody dresses as he pleases but all 
very poorly. One's outfit consists of a suit of 
clothes, bed, table and trunk. Tapestry and fine 

^ Rubble antr its! Kiursfting 65 

beds are unknown. The people sleep the whole 
night in the open air. I am as safe in the most 
distant part of the town as in a citadel. Although 
I live among savages and Frenchmen, I am in no 
danger. People trust one another so much they 
leave gates and doors open." 

A French chronicler visiting Louisiana two years 
later describes New Orleans as a wild, lonely place 
of about one hundred huts, a large wooden ware- 
house, two or three houses and a miserable store, 
one half of which was devoted to religious purposes. 

In 1722, when New Orleans was made capital, 
the first census in its history was taken. It re- 
corded seventy-two civilians, forty-four soldiers, 
eleven oflScers, twenty-two ship captains and sail- 
ors, twenty-eight European laborers (doubtless 
engagees or indentured servants). One hundred 
and seventy-seven negro slaves and twenty-one 
Indians. Forty of the civilians, fourteen of the 
soldiers, two of the ofiicers and nine of the 
ship captains were men of family, their children 
totaling thirty-eight. Thus modest were the be- 
ginnings of a city which by the middle of the suc- 
ceeding century was to rank third in population 
among American Cities. 

The Company of the West made faithful and suc- 
cessful efforts to carry out its contractual obliga- 
tions to colonize and to enlist personages of rank 
and wealth in the work of colonizing its domains 
by making large grants of lands to individuals or 
companies. Madame de Mezieres and Madame 

66 ifrencf) l^on&tiiion 

de Chaumont were granted lands along the Gulf 
Coast; de Guiche, de la Houssae and de la Houpe 
received grants along the river below New Orleans; 
while de Meuse, Duvernay and d'Artagnac were 
given lands along the river opposite New Orleans, 
and de Muys, just above the city. D'Artaguette's 
concession lay in the Baton Rouge section ; St. Re- 
nie's in the vicinity of Natchez and de la Harpe's 
near Natchitoches. Two private companies also 
received concessions: Hubert, the Royal Commis- 
sary and a group of merchants were granted lands 
near Natchez; LeBlanc, the Secretary of State, 
and certain noblemen, were given title to lands 
near the Yazoo River. 

John Law, himself, reserved a tract along the 
river in what is now the Southeastern corner of 
Arkansas. He colonized this tract with two 
hundred German-speaking Alsatians, who, becom- 
ing dissatisfied with the location, returned down 
stream and were given lands on the river above 
and convenient to New Orleans — a section to be 
thenceforth known as the "German Coast." 

Sieur Renaud, a director of the Mississippi Com- 
pany, received what was thought at that time to be 
a prize concession, his grant being in what is now 
south-east Missouri, where much silver was sup- 
posed to abound. In 1720 he led in person an ex- 
pedition to that locality and made a thorough 
survey of the Maramec ore deposits, finding lead 
but no silver. As a part of his equipment consist- 
ed of negro slaves to work his mines, he stands on 

<a iiubtile anb it9i ^ursiting 67 

record as the first introducer of African slavery 
into Missouri. 

A wise policy of the Company was to encourage 
investment of foreign capital in the Company and 
to induce immigration to Louisiana from countries 
other than France. Prospectuses and advertise- 
ments were well circulated in the States of Central 
Europe. One of those printed at Leipsic in 1720 
glowingly describes the Louisiana mines, the land 
filled with gold, silver, copper and lead. "After 
these mines, " says the writer of this pamphlet, "we 
will hunt for herbs and plants for apothecaries. 
The savages will make them known to us. Soon 
we will find healing remedies for the most danger- 
ous diseases; yes, also, say they, infallible ones for 
the fruits of love." 

Is it any wonder that the popular imagination 
was fired, that thousands of Germans set out on 
foot to reach the embarkation ports of France, 
either to fall exhausted by the wayside or to be 
decimated in "pest ships." Two thousand, how- 
ever, succeeded in reaching the Louisiana Settle- 
ments before New Orleans was three years old and 
although not so recognized until recently, consti- 
tuted themselves a very significant element in the 
original Creole population of lower Louisiana. 

Many of these Germans adopted the French lan- 
guage, intermarried with their French neighbors, 
and in time, lost their language and racial identity. 
The names, as borne to-day by some of the oldest 
and best types of French families in Louisiana, 

68 ^ jFrencf) $ogs!eggion 

are but French forms of the names of some of 
these early German immigrants. Engle became 
Hingle; Troxler, Trosclair; Huber, Oubre; Hummel, 
Hymel; Wilsz, Wiltz; Foltz, Folse; Ziriac, Sir- 
jacques; Vogel, Fauquel; Zehringer, Zeringue; 
Wichner, Vicknair; Martin, Mar^m (changed in 
accent if not in form) . An ancestral Jake Schnei- 
der, doubtless, accounts for the well-known Louisi- 
ana family name of Schexnayder. Many other 
examples might be cited. 

However great was the failure of the Company 
of the Indies as a speculative enterprise, it must be 
credited with giving the initial impulse to European 
emigration to the lower Mississippi galley the ef- 
fects of which was to be felt for many a day after 
the dissolution of the Company. In 1712, when 
Crozat assumed the proprietorship of Louisiana, 
its population numbered a scant four hundred. 
Under Law's Company, its population increased 
to seven thousand and twenty, including six hun- 
dred negroes. When in 1731 Louisiana reverted 
to the French Crown, owing to the collapse of the 
Company of the Indies, the legacy of the latter to 
America was flourishing and permanent settle- 
ments along the lower Mississippi, and the found- 
ing of a city near its mouth standing at present 
writing second in commercial importance among 
the cities of the United States. 


Beginnings of the English Advance 





T^HE Mississippi Valley, when its French settle- 
■*• ment beginnings and its subsequent domina- 
tion by Spain are considered, seems to have had 
a very narrow escape from having its destinies 
shaped by Latin ideals; its every day vernacular 
and its official language both alien to the English 
tongue; its broad extent indicated on the maps of 
to-day as "Province," instead of being specifically 
named as "States"; its government, one in which 
ruled a sovereignty domiciled without its borders, 
instead of one in which sovereignty resided in its 
own citizenry. 

Let us recall that between the years of 1607 and 
1733, there were planted along the tide-water edge 
of the Atlantic coast, a series of settlements which 
in time crystallized into thirteen political units; 
that these colonies increased in population with 
the influx of successive newcomers from the Old 
World who had been lured by the promises of the 
New; that this increase forced an expansion of 
the areas of occupancy, which expansion could ex- 
tend only in one general direction — away from the 


72 ll^egmningsf of €ngli£if) ^bbance SHeittoarb 

The taking of new lands in the wilderness regions 
of the interior went on with comparative slowness 
during the colonial era. Even as late as 1790, when 
the English colonies had become American States, 
the belt of occupancy averaged in width scarcely 
two hundred and fifteen miles. 

The slowness with which population moved 
westward at this time, is accounted for by the ob- 
stacles which interposed against migration west- 
ward. Many of these obstacles were of a geograph- 
ical or physiographical nature, but the principal one 
was that of race. For the Red Man barred the 
way at many points. He had to be cajoled by 
gift-givings, driven back by force, exterminated by 
war before the proverbial land-hunger of the Eng- 
lish could find appeasement. 

It is interesting to note, in passing, how different 
was the attitude of the English toward the Indians, 
from that of each of the other nations concerned 
principally in the colonizing of America. To the 
Spaniard of the Southwest, the Indian was a serf; 
to the Dutch of New York, a good customer; to 
the French of Canada, a comrade; to the English 
of the thirteen colonies, a cumberer of the earth. 

Spanish missions established priestly and patri- 
archal control over the Red Man. Dutch traders 
and wampum makers welcomed him for the profit 
he brought them. French adventurers and Ca- 
nadian coureurs-de-bois became son or brother or 
priestly mentor to him, appreciated his view-point, 
conserved his self-respect by meeting him on the 

B^ace Parriersf anti tlDijeir l^emofaal 73 

common ground of manhood. The English settle- 
ment makers and their successors, the American 
frontiers-man, wrested his domain from him, ex- 
terminated him, drove him forth from the land of 
his fathers. 

Indian wars successively engaged in, stand as 
milestones along the way from the Atlantic sea- 
board to the interior. Near the coast were fought 
the first Opecancanough War in Virginia (1622), 
the Pequot War in Connecticut (1635), King 
Philip's War in Massachusetts (1675), the Tus- 
carora War in North Carolina (1711), and the 
Yamassee War in South Carolina (1715). 

This tier of Indian wars, in modern military par- 
lance, constituted a first line of intrenchments over 
the top of which the English settlers went after 
slaughtering and driving back its occupants. When 
the second line was reached there were fought the 
second Opecancanough War in Virginia (1644), the 
Cherokee War in western North and South Caro- 
lina (1757), the several Indian wars along the New 
York and New England frontier inspired by the 
French of Canada, and, most formidable of all, the 
general Indian war in western Pennsylvania and the 
then Northwest, known as Pontiac's War (1763). 

The first two of these second-tier wars cleared 
the way to the labyrinthian barriers of the Appa- 
lachians whose gaps and valleys through which 
streams of settlers afterwards made their way into 
the great valley region beyond were thus made 
free to the way-discoverers and trail-blazers. 

74 ^l^eginningg of Cnglisffi iibbance Slesittoarti 

The Cherokee War and the war with Pontiac 
were supplementary to the so-called "Old French 
War" (1755-1763), the last and most important of 
the four armed conflicts in which Colonial France 
and Colonial England struggled for American su- 

Long before the approach of the English reached 
the Appalachian barriers, the fleur-de-lys banner 
of France had been flung to the breeze in the great 
valley beyond. Indeed, to the credit of the Gallic 
race, it may be said that throughout the colonial 
history of America, France seems to have shown 
the greater initiative. 

The precedence of priority was hers even in the 
very first attempts to colonize, for the three ill- 
fated French Huguenot failures on the coasts of 
Florida and South Carolina anticipate Raleigh's 
three failures for England at Roanoke Island, 
North Carolina, by something like thirty years. 
When England did finally secure her first perma- 
nent foothold on the continent of America at James- 
town, Virginia, France had already established her 
first successful settlement at Fort Royal, Nova 
Scotia, two years before (1605). 

Twelve years before the Puritans landed at Ply- 
mouth, Quebec was a French Gibraltar dominat- 
ing the St. Lawrence valley for France. Mon- 
treal was well under way before the beginnings of 
New York were laid on Manhattan Island . Mary- 
land was yet to have its first settlers when Brule 
was completing his circuit of Lake Superior. 

i^ace Parriers( anb tBi^tit i^emobal 75 

Nicollet was at home in Wisconsin before Rhode 
Island, Delaware or North Carolina were colo- 
nized. Minnesota was won for France by Grosseil- 
liers and Radison before the English established 
the colony of New Jersey. The voyage of Mar- 
quette and Joliet down the Mississippi was a ten- 
year memory when Penn founded the City of 
Brotherly Love. At the time of the first coming of 
the Quakers, La Salle was writing the name, 
Louisiana, in letters large across the map of the 
Western World, by proclaiming every inch of 
soil watered by the Mississippi and its tributaries 
to be under the dominion of His Gracious Majesty, 
Louis XIV of France. 

Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Alabama and Louisi- 
ana were occupied by the French before the English 
occupied Georgia. Mobile, Biloxi, Natchez, New 
Orleans, Natchitoches and Kaskaskia, by virtue 
of French initiative, are older towns than Savannah. 
Sixteen years before the founding of the Georgia 
city, Du Tisne was waving the flag of France as 
far west as "the country of the Panis" — the Paw- 
nee country, now Kansas. 

Two years only after the founding of the col- 
ony of Georgia, quaint, historic St. Genevieve, 
Mo., came into existence; and only ten years 
after, the La Verendrye brothers, bold young 
French adventurers, were making their way to 
the Rocky Mountains by way of the Missouri 
River, planting on its banks the leaden plates 
whose inscriptions were the recorded title deeds 

76 WtQinninQi of €ngligf) l^bbance Slegttoarb 

of the French to ownership of the vast region 

Before the English advance westward reached 
the Appalachians, a crescent of French forts and 
posts, extending from Canada to the Gulf of Mex- 
ico, was throwing constricting arms around the 
outposts of the English, with a view to inhibiting 
any future advance. Starting from Ticonderoga 
and Crown Point in northern New York, this line 
of posts and forts extended to Forts Toulouse and 
Louis de la Mobile in Alabama and included Fron- 
tenac, now Kingston, Canada, Niagara in western 
New York, Presque Isle, Le Boeuf and Venango 
in western Pennsylvania, Ouistanon and Vincennes 
on the Wabash and Marsac on the Ohio. 

When to migrate from overpopulated eastern 
sections of Pennsylvania and New Jersey to the 
less populated regions of western Virginia and cen- 
tral North Carolina by well-blazed, easily traveled 
ways, was assumed to require an enterprise of spirit 
of a very high order, and a courage to command 
admiration, Canadians were making long journeys 
to and from Louisiana by way of Lake Erie and the 
rivers Maumee, Wabash, Kaskaskia, Ohio and 
Mississippi, regarding such feats as only those of 
ordinary accomplishment, through thousands of 
miles of wilderness, encountering perils to daunt 
the most courageous. 

All in all, we cannot but admire the clear vision 
of those who first represented France in the New 
World, and the promptness with which they ap- 

3^att ^avrievsi anb Wf)tiv 3^emobal 77 

predated the great possibilities of the Mississippi 
Valley. Nor can we withhold our tribute of re- 
spect at the daring of those who bore the Fleur-de- 
Lys banners of France into the American wilder- 
ness and the strenuous efforts they made that 
France might profit from a realization of these 

On the other hand, we cannot find a more char- 
acteristic instance of dogged persistence upon the 
part of the English, — the faculty "to muddle 
through, somehow," by which the Briton, not- 
withstanding his later start, wrested from France 
possession and dominion over the greater portion 
of the American continent. 



\ 7IRGINIA, oldest, wealthiest, and most popu- 
^ lous of the thirteen English colonies, was first 
to feel the urge of the westward movement. As 
early as 1710, Governor Spottswood and his 
" Knights of the Golden Horseshoe " had in a spirit, 
semi-romantic, ridden over the steeps of the first 
mountain barrier into the magnificent "Valley of 
Virginia" — the valley afterwards made famous as 
the scene of Stonewall Jackson's greatest feats of 
strategy. It needed but to be thus visited and its 
possibilities made known to start a long series of 
pioneer movements. 

In time, a stream of home seekers from Penn- 
sylvania and New Jersey poured down the valley, 
reaching well into central and western North Caro- 
lina, interposing cross currents to those moving 
west from tidewater Virginia. Included in this 
migratory movement southwestward were large 
numbers of militant, assertive, liberty-loving, fer- 
vidly-religious Scotch-Irish of grim demeanor and 
determined purpose. Also, placid, peace-loving 
Germans of a type somewhat diflferent to those 

Wi)t struggle for ^upremacp 79 

of a later day. These, as they squatted and took up 
land-holdings along the way, gave expression to 
their sense of humor in naming their holdings, 
which they did in a spirit of parody and burlesque 
of the stately baronial possessions of the slave- 
holding landowners to the east of them, — "Batch- 
elor's Delight," "Found It Out," "Small Bit," 
"Thereabouts," "New Work," etc. Thus were 
the colonial Virginians, themselves, excluded in 
large part from their natural patrimony by the 
transverse tide filling up the first of their back val- 
leys. When the time came for these Virginians to 
feel the migratory urge to a farther West, they were 
joined by successive generations of those who first 
peopled the valley spied out by the Knights of the 
Golden Horseshoe. 

The system of large individual land-holdings, — 
barony-like estates, — worked by slave labor, scat- 
tered the whites thinly over given areas in Virginia 
and did little to encourage the wage earner and 
small farmer to believe that Opportunity was to be 
found under such conditions. By the middle of 
the eighteenth century need was to open up Vir- 
ginia's splendid wilderness domain which, under 
the terms of her charter grant, extended "west and 
northwest, up into the land from sea to sea." And 
just as the original colonization of Virginia was un- 
dertaken by a "Company of Adventurers and 
Planters of the City of London," chartered by the 
Crown, so the "Great Woods," as this wilderness 
region was called, was bestowed upon a chartered 

8o iBeginninsjf of Cnglisif) ^bbance iHegttoarb 

body of Virginia and British capitalists known as 
"The Ohio Company." 

Surveyors were sent to the region between the 
Monongahela and the Kanawha Rivers. They 
found the French already in possession, however, 
and were forced to return. Now into the spotlight, 
for the first time in American history, steps George 
Washington. Bearing a message of protest, from 
the Governor of Virginia, he made his way through 
the western wilderness, found the French Comman- 
dant, was received with punctilious politeness and 
was sent back with the distinguished assurance, that, 
inasmuch as France had long ago made her title 
to the territory clear by right both of exploration 
and occupancy, however much it might pain her 
humble representative to do so, he, the French 
Commandant, was under compulsion to deny the 
request of his English-speaking friends that he 
withdraw himself from the region. Thus, out- 
wardly; but aside, there were sundry shruggings 
of shoulders. "Vraiement! These English ! Truly 
have they the effrontery!" 

Back came an expeditionary force of Virginians, 
Fry, Colonel, Washington, Lieutenant Colonel, 
with orders to drive the French from the Ohio Com- 
pany's lands — an early instance of a government 
aiding to enforce by war the rights of capital in- 
vested abroad by its citizens. The commander 
of this expedition being incapacitated by illness, 
it was a case of let George do it; so Lieutenant- 
Colonel Washington took the field, encountered a 

Wl)t Struggle for ^upremacp 8i 

French scouting party led by Chevalier Jumon- 
ville de Villiers, annihilated it and slew its com- 
mander. He, in turn, was penned up by young 
Coulon de Villiers, brother of Jumonville, who 
forced the Virginians to surrender. Courtly and 
polished gentleman that he was, Coulon exacted 
no toll for his brother's death, sought no revenge 
for his personal loss. Poor, deluded English! 
They knew not the power of France ! Here, march 
out, return to your homes unmolested and let this 
be a lesson to you. Do not come here again. 

Thus did Coulon de Villiers work for peace under 
provocation; thus did he institute a policy of 
watchful waiting, which in modern times has gained 
many adherents. No casus belli can be laid at his 
door. But, alas, for the realm whose true knight 
he was! He lived to see its glory dimmed, its 
flag furled, its cause go down to defeat. Fifty 
years after his victory over the young commander 
of the English, who was destined to take a place 
among the foremost leaders of all time, he died a 
loyal Louisianian, in the city of New Orleans. It 
had been given him to see England, the one-time 
foe of his beloved country, humbled by this an- 
tagonist of his youth ; to look on at the birth of the 
Great American Republic under this same antago- 
nist's leadership; to witness "the young giant of 
the west" rise out of the wilderness which Mar- 
quette had prayed over. La Salle had won and his 
own valor had defended in vain. 

Formal war followed Washington's defeat at 

82 iDieginningsf of Cnslisif) ilbbance MejStttjarb 

Fort Necessity, — a war whose principal result was 
to glut to satiety the land-hungry English. The 
conduct, campaigns, individual happenings and 
diplomacy of this war have no place in these pages. 
It lasted eight years. In dash, in brilliancy, in in- 
spiring leadership, in unyielding courage, even after 
the thumb of fate had pointed downward in de- 
cision against them, the French showed superiority. 
Amherst and Wolfe wear the laurel crowns of vic- 
tory, but Montcalm looms large on that distant 
horizon, a Lee leading a lost cause to its Appomat- 
tox of Abraham's Heights. The deciding battle 
of Quebec is a binary in the firmament of glory, 
with Montcalm and Wolfe as its twin stars shining 
with blended refulgence. 

The result of the ''Old French War" was to 
strip France of her American possessions. When 
disaster overtook her, she secretly deeded Louisi- 
ana, or the Mississippi Valley, to Spain by private 
act passed at Fontainebleau (1762). Later (1763) 
a treaty was signed at Paris to which England, 
France and Spain were parties. By this treaty 
Canada and the eastern half of the Mississippi 
Valley, the island of Orleans excepted, fell to Eng- 
land ; the western half and the island of Orleans to 
Spain, who in turn relinquished her possessions of 
East and West Florida to England. 

Judged by its immediate results England's vic- 
tory seemed an unqualified one. In the end it 
proved costly, indeed, for it gave to the men of the 
seaboard colonies valuable experience in the art of 

^'i)t struggle (or ^upremacp 83 

war. It removed from these colonies the menace 
of the French foe to the west and northwest of them, 
for protection from whom they had so long been 
dependent upon the mother country. It inspired 
the men of these colonies with self reliance from 
which their pioneering spirit sprang, and in the 
course of time this spirit of self reliance was to 
prompt and this war experience was to prepare 
them to take such stand for the enlargement of 
their liberties as true Englishmen, that nothing but 
complete independence would answer. 

The war of the American Revolution followed 
closely upon this decided stand. Not the least 
among the many causes of this war was an act of 
Parliament passed in 1774, known as the Quebec 
Act, and designed to insure the loyalty of England's 
new French-speaking subjects in the northwest by 
extending the domain of Canada southwestward to 
the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, so that their poli- 
tical and social affiliations with French-speaking 
Canada would remain unbroken. This act an- 
gered the English colonists of the seaboard and the 
pioneers of the back countries, for it ignored all 
claims to what was afterward designated *'The 
Northwest Territory" held by the several English 
colonies under their charter grants. 

The War for American Independence resulting 
in the establishment of the United States, England 
lost her share of the valley domain she had won in 
the "Old French War." Her reluctance to sur- 
render to the United States possession of the sev- 

84 iSeginnings! of €nglis!i) ^bbance ISefittDarb 

eral posts acquired from the French in the North- 
west, each with its valuable fur and Indian trade, 
was one of the two dynamic causes of the second 
war with England (1812), occasioning that country 
further loss in treasure and prestige, if not in land. 
The removal of the French barrier left only the 
further menace of the Indians beyond the Alle- 
ghanies. When the English colonies became States 
and the States a union of States, the challenge 
of the red man, successively made, was successively 
and successfully met. Little Turtle and his Miamis 
in Ohio, Tecumseh and his Shawnees in Indiana, 
McGilvray and Wethersford and their combina- 
tions of Creeks, Chickamaugas, Cherokees, Chicka- 
saws, and other tribes in Alabama and Tennessee, 
Black Hawk and his Sacs and Foxes in northern 
Illinois and southern Wisconsin, all went to final 
defeat, yielding up their lands to settlement and 
removing racial obstructions from the right of way 
to the Mississippi and beyond. 


The Furl of the Fleur-de-Lys Flag 




TV/HEN by "Private Act," passed with much un- 
^^ necessary secrecy at Fontainebleau Novem- 
ber the third, 1762, His Most Christian Majesty, 
Louis XV, ceded "of his own free will" to his "be- 
loved cousin," the King of Spain, and "to his suc- 
cessors and heirs in full property, completely and 
without reserve or restriction, all the country known 
as Louisiana, and also New Orleans and the island 
on which it is situated," he did so apparently as a 
mark of favor and esteem. In reality he was 
giving Spain a bag to hold, a bag into which 
France had poured much treasure and taken out 
but little of benefit in return. 

It was the third effort made by France to rid her- 
self of what she regarded as an encumbrance. This 
riddance was now more necessary than it had ever 
been. The disastrous war with England had 
brought the French exchequer to a state of deple- 
tion. Drains upon the French purse had to be 
stopped; unprofitable royal enterprises no longer 
carried. Even such part of Louisiana as England 
did not wrest from her when the final treaty came 


88 ^fje jfurl of tfje Jfleur=be=ICj»B; Jflag 

to be made, entailed interminable expense for main- 
tenance and military protection. Better let others 
— "our beloved cousin" for instance — shoulder 
the burden. 

Few were they in the councils of the King clear 
visioned enough to realize what at a later day be- 
came so evident, that a nation restricted by 
geographical and other conditions prevailing in Eu- 
rope can reach the rank of world power only through 
the possession of colonies and distant dependencies. 
Fewer yet were they who had the genius to con- 
ceive, the statesmanship to propose, the authority 
to execute ways and means that would have con- 
served for the France of the eighteenth century in 
America and in far off India what the France of the 
twentieth century is seeking to recover in Africa. 

Not until two years after the final ratification of 
the treaty were the Louisianians formally notified 
by their governor that their country had passed to 
the dominion of Spain. They received the an- 
nouncement with consternation. Exclamations 
of grief and disbelief were heard on every side. It 
could not be really so, no matter what oflBcial proc- 
lamation might assert. Surely, it was only a tem- 
porary expedient made necessary by diplomacy 
and war. Were they not Frenchmen and had they 
not been ever loyal subjects of Louis, the well- 
beloved.'^ Would he, could he turn his back upon 
them, his faithful and affectionate subjects, and 
with the stroke of a pen make them alien to all that 
they had inherited and had so treasured? 

^ %atin €cfjo to lamerica'g Hibertp Call 89 

Louis certainly could. He had looked over the 
ledger of their accounts from the first page. He 
had learned how his grandfather had failed with 
Crozat; how his Regent-Uncle had collapsed with 
Law; how he himself had an unbroken record of 
failure. He had arrived at the conviction that he 
could do nothing with or for this colonial child of 
his. Let Mother France renounce her own off- 
spring and put it on the doorstep of Spain to be 
adopted and brought up. 

Singular how the Louisianian of Latin mind be- 
gan to formulate the same thoughts and take the 
same steps as the Anglo-Saxon under similar cir- 
cumstances. The English colonists along the At- 
lantic seaboard were at the time passing through 
the period of agitation which preceded their Revo- 
lution. Here was Louisiana, far to the southwest, 
holding little or no communication with Virginia 
and Massachusetts, ignorant of the dynamic ut- 
terances of Patrick Henry, James Otis and other 
inspiring orators, echoing, however faintly, the 
general call to liberty that was going up from Amer- 
ica, response to which began that century-and-a- 
half drive which, finally, was to press back the 
divine-right-of -kings to its last mein-self-und-Gott 
ditch and establish in fact as well as theory that 
sovereignty and self-determination dwell of right 
with the people. 

Headed by Nicholas Chauvin de Lafreniere — let 
his name be remembered — Attorney General of 
the colony, Canadian by descent. New Orleanean 

90 ^ije Jfurl at tfje jFleur=be=1tp£f jFlag 

by birth, French to his heart's core, a mass meeting 
or convention was called to consider the state of 

The most distinguished men of the colony re- 
sponded. From the "German Coast," the "Aca- 
dian Coast" and other outlying "Parishes" came 
delegates headed by Count d'Arensbourg and Jo- 
seph Villere. Stirred by Lafreniere's eloquence, 
resolutions were adopted and embodied in a me- 
morial to the French King. This memorial was 
one of profession and protest. It made its appeal 
in the name of loyalty, of pity, of patriotism, of 
kinship. Measured by subsequent events, it con- 
stitutes one of the most sadly inspiring documents 
ever filed in the archives of any nation. 

Thus began a movement which in the end was to 
bode ill to its chief participants. Jean Milhet, 
wealthy merchant, was delegated to bear the me- 
morial to France and lay it in person before the 
King. Neither messenger nor memorial was per- 
mitted to reach the presence and attention of His 
August Majesty. After two years of heel-coolings 
in outer officers, Milhet despaired of getting a hear- 
ing and returned in chagrin to Louisiana. 

Meanwhile, the Governor, d'Abbadie, had died 
and Captain Philippe Aubry, the ranking military 
officer in the city, assumed authority as acting 
governor. Aubry has written a very black page 
in the history of the lower Mississippi Valley and 
some of this blackness attaches itself to his memory 
and character. In all the events that followed he 

^ Hatin €cl)0 to iSmerica's; Hibertp Call 91 

kept the ringleaders of the incipient revolt under 
secret observation, noting their utterances, pre- 
paring himself to intrepret their activities in terms 
of treason and rebellion when an opportunity suita- 
ble to his purpose offered. Bear in mind that these 
were his own fellow subjects of the King of France, 
that they were doing no violence to the loyalty and 
allegiance due by them to their sovereign and that 
he turned informer for his own ends, in such a way 
as to single them out to be punished for crimes that 
could only be legally committed by Spanish sub- 
jects, when at no time had they been officially 
declared subjects of the Spanish Crown. 

The narrative of this early American revolt be- 
gins with the arrival of Don Antonio de Ulloa, 
Spain's first appointed governor of the Louisiana 
Colony, March 5, 1766. Ulloa is described as of 
small size, extremely thin, nervous and excitable. 
He, therefore, upon first appearance naturally 
failed either to convey an .impression of dominant 
personality or to indicate a quality of leadership, 
both of which are naturally looked for in rulers of 
men. He was, however, an officer of high rank in 
the Navy, an author of distinction, a scientist of 
renown, an astronomer and mathematician of the 
first rank. 

Gayarre, the Louisiana historian, whose ancestor 
came over in the suite of Ulloa, pays tribute to his 
natural ability, his profound learning, his sparkling 
wit. He is described by another writer as a bundle 
of odd contradictions. Says Dimitry, who has 

92 tKije Jfurl at tJje jfltnx=tit=lLpsi Jflag 

written much of this period of history: "He was 
wise where wisdom was study, but foolish where 
wisdom was action. He was a philosopher among 
seamen but never quite a seamen among philoso- 
phers. By repute and in truth the most amiable 
of men, he transformed himself in New Orleans into 
one of Lope de Vega's magnificos — and sulked." 

Isolated by his intellect, priding himself as su- 
perior, by birth and achievements, to the common 
herd, with all the aloofness of a student whose 
mind is elsewhere, wits wandering in a paradise of 
dreams of a bride soon -to-be, on the way to him from 
far-off Peru, he could not but be a disappointment 
and an irritant to the excited and excitable Louis- 
ianians, who just then needed to be halted from 
further imbibings at the tount of American De- 
mocracy lest indulgence in its magic waters lead 
to a wild carouse of liberty and bring regret, — pos- 
sibly remorse, — to the inexperienced drinkers. 

Ulloa came to the colony with certain precon- 
ceived ideas. One was that the Louisianians were 
ready to change their nationality, their allegiance, 
their flag, with a welcoming gladness. Had they 
not been cast off from their mother country with- 
out compunction.^ Would they not be far better 
under the beneficent colonial rule of Spain? He 
assumed, also, that the French troops domiciled 
in the colony would readily enlist in the service of 
his master, as, by the French King's authority, 
they were permitted to do. Was not prompt pay 
in Spanish coin greatly to be preferred than the 

^ ILatin Ccfjo to i^merica'sJ Hibertp Call 93 

French pittances and promises which they had 
been receiving? Finally he was wedded to the con- 
viction that Louisianians should be profoundly 
grateful at his condescending to come and rule over 
them. Had not the world honored him for his 
rank and his accomplishments and were not his 
praises being sounded broadcast for his scholar- 
ship and his contributions to science? Ought they 
not indeed to appreciate how great a man he was? 
Rude indeed was his awakening. The Louisiani- 
ans were not crushed with the overwhelming honor 
of becoming subjects of Spain. The soldiers held 
back from enlisting, notwithstanding the urging of 
their captain, Aubry. The colonists knew nothing 
of Ulloa's reputation and past achievements. 
Neither were they impressed by his presence. They 
failed to accept him at his self -appraised valuation. 
In place of greeting him with acclaim and adulation 
they received him with coldness and sullen disap- 
proval. Let us sympathize with him. He really 
was sincere in his convictions, disposed to deal 
kindly with the colonists, justified in his vanity be- 
cause of its substantial basis of learning and merit. 
But how lacking in tact ! Could he have descended 
from his pedestal, met them face to face, told them 
in kindly terms that matters could not be helped 
and that his was not the fault of existing condi- 
tions ; could he have admonished them to make the 
best of it, given them a pageant and a holiday of 
feasting to commemorate his formal inauguration; 
had he assured them that the restrictive commer- 

94 ®J)e Jfurl of tfje Jfleur=be=1lj>g Jflag 

cial policy of Spain towards her American colonies 
would be only lightly applied in their particular 
case; had he thrown a few sops of deference to the 
Cerberus of the Superior Council that had long pre- 
sided over the affairs of the colony and whose 
members, in consequence, were imbued with ideas 
of their own importance, all would then have been 

But his mind had been poisoned, his judgment 
warped by favor-currying representations made to 
him by Aubry. His characteristic sensitiveness 
was affected by the coldness of his reception and it 
caused him to draw back from further contact. He 
ignored the Council's request to exhibit his creden- 
tials of authority and assume actively the duties 
of his office. He, as Spain's representative, would 
treat only with Aubry, the representative of France. 
It was nobody's business but his own whether he 
published his commission by proclamation or kept 
it to himself. Subsequently it was claimed that 
he exhibited this commission in private to Aubry 
and this claim was to have a momentous bearing 
upon certain events that followed. 

Moreover, according to Aubry, the colonists were 
naturally lawless, were at present turbulent and 
were heading towards revolt. Presenting creden- 
tials and consummating the formal ceremony of 
transfer might precipitate matters. Ulloa, there- 
fore, chose to rule by indirection. His instructions 
were conveyed to Aubry, who in turn promulgated 
and executed them with more or less effectiveness. 

ja ILatin €cfjo to America's; ILihtvtp Call 95 

A phantom of dubious authority was thus created, 
respect for which diminished in time to the vanish- 
ing point. Commercial regulations which he an- 
nounced through Aubry and which accorded with 
the colonial policy of Spain aroused much indigna- 
tion. These, among other provisions, restricted 
the maritime trade of the colony to six Spanish 
cities. In consequence, boisterous street crowds 
were wont to shout approval of French products 
and disapproval of Spanish products in the same 
breath with which they cheered for the king that 
had disowned them. "Vive le vin de Bordeaux" 
alternated with "Vive le RoV; "Vive Louis le 
bien-aime" with "A has le poisson de Catalogue." 
The situation becoming highly distasteful to him, 
Ulloa withdrew from New Orleans, and took up his 
abode amid the sedges and salt flats at the mouth 
of the river, one hundred miles distant. Here he 
put in a long period of waiting. To the people he 
was "sulking." To Ulloa it was a withdrawal 
from the ungrateful cares of state, the better to in- 
dulge his literary bent and to dream of the happi- 
ness that awaited him. Little did his enemies in 
the up-river town know how fortunate beyond all 
men he was to be. The Marchioness d'Abrado, 
peerless beauty of Peru, young, rich, distinguished, 
with every charm of mind and person, was even 
then upon the high seas, sailing a voyage of ro- 
mance to become his bride and to hold high court 
in that far land over which her lover ruled. The 
ceremony upon her arrival was performed by Ulloa 's 

96 tIDfje Jfurl of tfje Jfleur=be=lLj>jf Jflag 

private chaplain, greatly to the scandal of the local 
clergy and of the colonists when they heard the 
news. They were furious that he should have 
thus ignored the holy church and the colony's ec- 
clesiastics in the matter. Incidentally, he had de- 
prived them of the spectacle and pageantry, pro- 
verbially dear to the Creole heart and which the 
populace under monarchical conditions always hold 
to be due when governor or ruler takes a wife. 

Ulloa returned with his bride to the city. Enter 
the feminine element. Society in Louisiana had 
attained even at that early day a certain degree of 
refinement and punctilious regard for the artificial 
niceties of social intercourse. The wives of the 
leading residents declined to recognize their "first 
lady of the land" and deluded themselves that 
their snubbing and "cutting" were of torturing 
effect. All this was very amusing to Miladi Ulloa, 
very amusing indeed. Ah! but those so-foolish 
ones ! It is to smile at their assumed importance ! 
The happiness of the honeymoon continued undis- 
turbed by absence of congratulatory social func- 

But serenity of household did not necessarily 
infer serenity in public affairs. The patience of 
the colonists after two years' uncertainty reached a 
breaking point. Ultimatum was served to Ulloa. 
"Show your credentials, take the reins of govern- 
ment in your own hands or get out. If the latter, 
you have just thirty days to do it in. Long live the 
King! Long live Louis-the-Well-Beloved ! Long 

si 5 

XI ^ 

d <« 

5 «i 

•2 M 

o a 


o « 

w " 





















































































!a ILatin Ccijo to ^mtxica*i ILihtvt^ Call 97 

live the wine of Bordeaux ! Down with the fish 
of Spain!'* 

It did not take Ulloa thirty days to decide. He 
embarked on a French frigate lying in the river, 
where on November 1st, he suffered a final indig- 
nity. In the early morning a band of boisterous 
roisterers came to the ship's side and with ribald 
shouts cut the cables and sent the vessel danger- 
ously adrift down stream. Ulloa sailed at once to 
Havana and hastened direct to Spain. Ignominy 
had been put upon him ; defeat apparently had been 
his. In the past, however, he had won more vic- 
tories with his pen than with his sword. His ene- 
mies, the turbulent ones of the colony, were yet to 
know its might. With this weapon he could reach 
over distances of time and space and wreak ven- 
geance more effectively than by blood lettings in 
vulgar hand-to-hand encounters. He filed a clear- 
cut, incisive, bitter report of his so-called expulsion, 
dynamic in its effect. Well had it been for Louisi- 
anians had they received in a different spirit this 
peace-loving, disturbance-avoiding scholar, else 
Spanish vengeance might not have begun as a faint 
cloud upon a distant horizon to approach and burst 
as it did, a terrifying storm in all its fury. 

The departure of Ulloa filled the Louisianians 
with exultation. Mutual congratulations were 
many; many the toast drunk over the happy event. 
The yoke of Spain had been thrown off; a revolu- 
tion accomplished without bloodshed. Now that 
Louisiana was in a sense free, surely France would 

98 tKlie Jfurl of tfie jf\tuxAit=lLvi Jflag 

heed the further importuning of her f ar-ofiF, would- 
be subjects and again take them into her fold. 
Again were resolutions and memorial drawn up, 
condemning in severe terms Ulloa's conduct, justi- 
fying the edict of expulsion which the Superior 
Council had passed, and protesting further loyalty 
to France. Le Sassier, member of the Superior 
Council, was message-bearer this time. But he, 
too, failed to reach the King's presence, though his 
petition was spread broadcast in Paris. He had 
not long to wait for his answer, however. He was 
told peremptorily that the colony must submit to 
Spain, and that Spain would never relinquish pos- 
session of it. 

Now was the time for Louisiana insurgents to 
ponder over what they had done. Soon it began 
to dawn upon them that the laurels of successful 
revolution which they had been wearing might have 
to be replaced by the weeping willows of unsuccess- 
ful rebellion. No, it was not Spain they had opposed. 
Oh no ! It was the trickster Ulloa who had played 
fast and loose, both with them and with his master. 
In nothing they had done were they to be dealt 
with as Spanish subjects. They were French, 
French, FRENCH. Of course, under proper cir- 
cumstances they were perfectly willing to bend the 
knee in obeisance to the quite-beautiful flag of 
Spain. Such were the thoughts of the weaker ones 
— the ones who were to escape notice and con- 
sequences. The strong men of the colony stood 
upon principle, justified their conduct by the law 

Hatin €cl)o to i^merica'si Hibertp Call 99 

of nations, had no apologies to offer and in the end 
met their fate with thrill-inspiring manhood, — 
first political victims upon the altar of American 

Let us not forget that at the time Patrick Henry 
in Virginia was denouncing "taxation without 
representation," Lafreniere in far-off Louisiana 
was publicly proclaiming "the right of the people 
to decide any act touching their welfare"; was as- 
serting, "Parliaments and Superior Councils are 
the depositories of the laws under whose sanction 
the people may live in happiness; they are the nat- 
ural protectors by law of honest citizens," — thus 
giving rudimentary expression to the principle of 
local self-government which means so much to 
modern life and re-stating its correlative : Govern- 
ment exists by right of common consent, and laws 
to be binding must be passed by law-making 
bodies, representative of the people who must live 
under the laws so made. 


Spain's bludgeon falls 

T TLLOA'S report was followed by prompt action 
^^ upon the part of the Spanish Ministry. It 
was decided that Louisiana must be held at all 
costs; the rebellion suppressed; and the ring- 
leaders brought to punishment. 

Don Alexander O'Reilly was selected as the in- 
strument of vengeance. He was of Irish birth, as 
his name indicates, a Catholic refugee from his own 
land, a soldier of fortune who had found opportun- 
ity for congenial service in Spain where he had 
risen to high rank in the Spanish army, both on his 
own merits and by special favor of the King, whose 
life at one time he was fortunate enough to save 
under circumstances calling for the greatest cool- 
ness and courage. He had been created a Count in 
recognition of his military services. His breast 
glittered with many orders conferred upon him. 
At the time of his landing in Louisiana he was forty- 
seven years old. 

O'Reilly was of different type from Ulloa. No 
hesitant scholar was he, but a man of prompt de- 
cision and rapid action. The velvet of a courtly 


Spain's; ^lubgeon Jfallsf loi 

manner veneered the steel of his cold intent. His 
suavity was a mask that successfully hid all men- 
ace. His natural charm and conciliatory manners 
gave no indication of the sternness with which he 
could act when called upon to deal with the enemies 
of his King. A task had been given him and he 
proceeded to its accomplishment with a directness 
and efficiency commendable to those who justify 
his course. 

Dreams of a rudimentary republic were begin- 
ning to take dim shape in the minds of the Louis- 
iana revolutionists as the hope to be again taken 
into the French fold faded out. From these 
dreams they were suddenly awakened by the 
news that a large Spanish fleet with a powerful 
force had arrived at the mouth of the river. Vio- 
lent commotion ensued . Some were for submission , 
some for resistance. Fire-eater Pierre Marquis 
and a contingent of the more courageous put on 
white cockades, armed themselves and paraded up 
and down shouting defiance. Aubry called La- 
freniere and other leaders into council, convinced 
them of the superior force of the Spaniards, and 
persuaded them that the security of the colony and 
the safety of themselves lay in submission. The 
revolt was called off. A delegation went down the 
river to O'Reilly, made their tenders of fealty, 
were received with cordiality, partook of a good 
dinner with the urbane commander and returned 
to the city reassured. 

On August 18, 1769, the Spanish fleet anchored 

102 ^fie Jfurl of tfje jfleur=be=ILpj; jFlag 

abreast of New Orleans. Now was pomp and cere- 
mony indeed to be observed. Aubry drew up the 
French troops along one side of the Place d'Armes. 
Three thousand picked troops, fully armed, in 
glittering uniform landed and lined up along the 
other three sides. Aubry and O'Reilly advanced 
from opposite directions to the center of the square. 
The Spanish commander presented his credentials 
and instructed Aubry to read and translate them 
to the onlookers. Profound silence greeted the 
reading. The ceremony of absolving the people 
from their allegiance to France, the declaration 
that they were thenceforth subjects of Spain, the 
lowering of the French flag and running up the 
Spanish, accompanied by salutes, followed. The 
officers then repaired to the church, on the site of 
the present Cathedral, where a Te Deum was sung. 
An imposing parade of the splendidly disciplined 
and equipped troops, calculated to inspire awe and 
obedience, completed the ceremonies of the day. 
O'Reilly called upon the late acting Governor to 
furnish a full account of the expulsion of Ulloa. 
With characteristic sycophancy Aubry more than 
complied with the request. His report was virtu- 
ally an indictment drawn up with such skill as 
only a prosecuting attorney might have employed. 
Individuals and specific offenses were singled out. 
Much of the blame for cruelty subsequently as- 
cribed to O'Reilly should be borne by Aubry, for 
this apparent cruelty was without malice as far as 
O'Reilly was concerned. A newcomer to the col- 

^pam'jf Hilutrgeon jfalls; 103 

ony, he could only act upon information furnished 
him by such reports as Ulloa's and Aubry's. Upon 
these and the instructions he had received, it was his 
conviction that a terrifying example had to be made 
to insure the future good behavior of the colonists 
and make his work of reorganization endure. 

The arrest of the ringleaders followed closely 
upon the submission of Aubry's report. Here 
O'Reilly showed a refinement of method quite at 
variance with that usually employed in bringing 
offenders to justice. Instead of hunting them out 
of their habitations and marching them shackled 
through the streets, a spectacle to arouse the sym- 
pathy, and perhaps the violence of the onlookers, 
he sent them special invitations to a levee or re- 
ception to which many others had been asked. 
All but one responded — Joseph Villere, who, in all 
the disturbances, had led the German and Acadian 
contingents from the upper coast to New Orleans 
to sustain the local leaders of the revolt. A pre- 
monition caused him to leave the city, to which he 
was shortly afterward lured back by further assur- 
ances of Aubry, only to be arrested at the city's 

As the guests arrived, each marked man was in- 
vited to a private apartment as if distinguished 
honor was thus being paid him. Here two soldiers 
stepped forward, took charge of him and marched 
him off, either to the Barracks or to temporary 
prisons on ships in the harbor. The surprise was 
so astounding as to give rise to general consterna- 

104 tIDJje Jfurl of tt)e Jfleur=tie=1lj>£f jFlag 

tion which was soon dissipated by O'Reilly, who is- 
sued a reassuring proclamation granting amnesty 
to all except the arrested leaders, a fair trial of 
whom was assured. This trial promptly followed 
with punctilious regard for every form of legal 
procedure governing such cases. The charge was 
lese majeste. The law to determine the truth or 
falsity of the charge was to be that of Spain. The 
penalty prescribed, if guilty, was death and con- 
fiscation of property. 

The defense maintained at the trial that Ulloa, 
not having exhibited his commission as Governor 
nor performed, himself, one act of executive au- 
thority, Louisiana had not come under Spain's 
jurisdiction when the alleged offenses were com- 
mitted; that the defendants had never been for- 
mally absolved of their fealty to France, had never 
taken any oath of allegiance to Spain and were 
therefore French subjects up to the time they 
might so do. They, therefore, could not have com- 
mitted offenses against the Spanish crown. 

The reply to this defense was that Louisiana was 
Spain's since the treaty of 1763; that the King of 
France had so notified them formally through 
their Governor, d'Abbadie; that Ulloa had exhibited 
his credentials to Aubry the official representative 
of France in the colony, on the latter 's visit to the 
former at the mouth of the river, whether the de- 
fendants knew it or not ; and finally, that Ulloa had 
paid all the expenses of the colony from the time 
of his arrival to his departure, as defendants well 

^pam'jf Plubgeon Jfallsi 105 

knew, and this alone was suflBcient evidence of 
Spain's ownership and jurisdiction at the time. 

The verdict was "guilty." Sentence was pro- 
nounced one day and executed the next. Let the 
names of the condemned be noted as of the best 
and most honored blood in the colony; as martyrs 
of a cause like unto that for which all English 
America was struggling, — shedding their blood be- 
fore Alamance and Lexington were fought, voicing 
their ideas of independence before either the Dec- 
laration of Mecklenburg, or that of Jefferson's 
went on record. 

Condemned "to be led to the gallows on asses, 
with cords about their necks; to be hanged until 
dead, and to remain hanging until otherwise or- 
dered," were the Sieurs Nicholas Chauvin de La- 
freniere, Jean-Baptiste Noyan, Pierre Caresse, 
Pierre Marquis and Joseph Milhet. Condemned 
to life imprisonment was Joseph Petit; to ten years, 
Balthazar Masan and Julien Jerome Doucet; to six 
years. Hardy de Boisblanc, Jean Milhet — messen- 
ger of the first memorial to King Louis — and Pierre 
Poupet. Joseph Villere had been killed in alter- 
cation with his guard shortly after arrest, so the 
Court could only condemn his memory, consigning 
it to an obloquy from which it was promptly res- 
cued by public opinion and afterwards reinstated 
to honor by the judgment of posterity. The 
property of all was confiscated. All publications, 
memorials, and papers connected with the revolu- 
tion were ordered collected and publicly burned. 

io6 ©i)e Jfurl of ti}t Jfleur»be=1lp£f Jflag 

As there was no public executioner in the prov- 
ince and as no one could be prevailed upon to 
perform the unholy function of hangman, the con- 
demned men were lined up and shot, the victims 
going to their death with sublime fortitude and 
courage, Lafreniere himself giving the signal to 
shoot, "With the last volley of Spanish bullets, 
ended forever the last valid assertion of France 
to the vast country for which so many of her 
heroes had given their lives to win for her and to 
retain, even in spite of her own blinded councils."' 

Within a month of the death of these brave 
compatriots whom he had betrayed, Aubry in fear 
of his precious person, made a hurried exit from 
the colony, embarking for France on the ship Pere 
de Famille. His luggage was chiefly gold and silver 
coin which, as it could not have been earned, must 
have been blackmailed and extorted during the 
troublous and threatening period. He was not 
to enjoy his ill-gotten wealth, however, for the 
vessel, as it drew near the French coast, encoun- 
tered a storm and foundered. Aubry and all on 
board but five of the crew perished. 

' Phelps, Louisiana, p. 125. 



T OUISIANA, as a French colony, had from the 
*-^ first been loosely governed by a Superior 
Council of which the Governor was a member. 
O'Reilly abolished the Council and instituted a 
government based upon the system prevailing in 
other colonial possessions of Spain. As the gov- 
ernment thus established held jurisdiction in the 
northern as well as the southern part of the Valley 
it is interesting to note some of its provisions. 
The Chief executive officers were a Governor, a 
Captain-General who resided in Cuba, and an In- 
tendant. The Governor was vested with both 
military and civil powers. He had a secretary and 
was legally advised by an Auditor of War who also 
performed the functions of an Assessor. The In- 
tendant administered the revenues and determined 
all matters bearing upon trade, commerce and 
foreign relations. He, too, had his secretary and 
his legal adviser was the Auditor of the Intendancy. 
Besides these there were the Contador or Comp- 
troller, Commissaries, Surveyors, Official Inter- 
preters, a Port Captain, several notaries, and other 


io8 tiric ifurl of tfje jfleur=be=ICj>s; Jflag 

sub-oflScers. Such of these minor oflficers whose 
salary was less than three hundred dollars per 
annum were appointed by the Governor; those 
above, by the Crown. 

Each outlying Parish, post or district, had a com- 
mandant with civil, military, notarial and judiciary 
powers in civil cases where the amount at issue was 
twenty dollars or less. In the more important 
cases his duty was to take the depositions in writ- 
ing and forward them to the Governor who, in 
turn, referred them to the proper courts. Thus 
for the period of the Spanish regime in the Missis- 
sippi Valley, Upper Louisiana, though governed 
locally by an official Lieutenant-Governor, was 
really administered in its larger affairs from New 
Orleans. Many land grants in the Missouri section 
which had been made by the Commandants of the 
districts, or by the Lieutenant-Governor of Upper 
Louisiana, were afterwards declared null and void, 
simply because they had not been approved at 
New Orleans by the higher authorities of the whole 

The old Superior Council was replaced by a 
Cabildo, consisting of six Regidors, who performed 
such legislative functions as were vested in the 
colony ; two ordinary Alcaldes, an Attorney -General- 
Syndic, and a Clerk. One of the Regidors was desig- 
nated, Alferez Real — Royal Standard Bearer — an 
office more honorary than active. A second was 
the Alcalde Provincial who supervised the regula- 
tions for the "Parishes" outside of New Orleans. 

^fje Bon €^tahliii)tii J^ii dominion 109 

A third, was the Alguazil who acted as Mayor or 
Sheriff for the City of New Orleans. A fourth was 
the Depositary General and a fifth was Receiver of 
Fines. The Attorney-General-Syndic was not the 
prosecuting officer whose functions we have come 
later to associate with the name. He was a repre- 
sentative of the people, watchful of their rights, 
jealous of their interests, suggester of measures 
conserving their good, appearing in their behalf 
before the Cabildo, itself, as did Roman Tribunes 
of old. 

The Cabildo elected the two ordinary Alcaldes 
to act as judges in civil and criminal cases arising 
in New Orleans. These had summary jurisdiction 
in minor cases but in important ones, appeal from 
their decisions could be made to the Cabildo in full 
session, who selected from their number two Regi- 
dors to sit with the Alcalde, rendering the original 
decision. It required the vote of both Regidors 
to reverse the Alcalde's decision; the vote of one 
affirmed it. Certain cases could be further ap- 
pealed to the Captain-General in Cuba, then to the 
Royal Audience of Santo Domingo; finally to the 
Council of the Indies at Madrid. 

The most stringent rules for the humane treat- 
ment of prisoners and for the hygienic regulations 
of prisons were imposed upon the Alcaldes, who 
once a week were required to visit the jails in per- 
son and liberate those incarcerated for debt or 
minor offenses, when justice or humanity required 
it. The whole system thus established was ad- 

no ^f)t Jfurl of tJje Jfleur=be=ILj>2i Jflag 

mirable in many of its features, *' imbued with a 
spirit of humanity and Christianity highly credita- 
ble to the legislation of Spain." A curious pro- 
vision was the act by which the perpetual Regidors 
were selected. The privilege of holding the office 
was put up at auction. The purchaser, at any 
time, could transfer the oflSce to any *' capable per- 
son" upon the payment of half of its appraised 
value. The office of Clerk of the Cabildo was also 
purchasable. The frankness of this feature of 
Spanish policy shines by comparison with some of 
the purchases of public offices which, with more or 
less reason, are believed to have characterized a 
number of our more modern political transactions. 

All French laws in the colony were superseded 
by those based upon the Recopilcion de los Indios, 
a summary of which was published in French as the 
"Code O'Reilly" for the better information of 
the colonists. The change, however, was not an 
abrupt one, as there were many points of similarity 
between the French and the Spanish body of laws, 
both having their origin in the Roman. An ex- 
ception was made, however, of the so-called "Black 
Code," which had been issued as a royal edict as 
far back as 1724 for the regulation of slaves who, 
at the time, were promising a preponderance in 
numbers over the whites and, who, being fresh 
from Africa, were still in the savage state. 

The Black Code was not a sinister but a humane 
body of laws, protecting slaves in their natural 
rights and at the same time safe-guarding the whites 

Wbt Bon (£,sitahliii)ti H^ii dominion in 

against violence and uprisings. Under the code 
slaves could not carry weapons, assemble in crowds, 
sell any commodity without authority of their mas- 
ters, acquire property, act as witnesses except in 
the absence of whites, or run away from their 
owners. To strike his master or steal a horse or 
cow — animals so valuable owing to their scarcity 
in the colony that no one, white or black, under 
penalty of death was permitted to wantonly maim 
or kill one — were capital offenses. On the other 
hand, forced marriages between slaves, concubin- 
age between master and slave, the taking of slave 
children under fourteen years of age from their 
parents, the selling separately of husband and wife, 
were prohibited under heavy penalties. The mas- 
ter was alone responsible for any act committed by 
a slave under his orders. The care and support of 
slaves disabled by disease or age were compulsory 
on the master. Slaves converted to Christianity 
were entitled to burial in consecrated ground. 
Masters could not apply the rack or mutilate 
their slaves. A slave could appeal to the Attor- 
ney-General, or other officer of authority against 
the injustice or cruelty of his master, and, as com- 
plainant, have his cause prosecuted with the due 
legal form, free of all cost to him. The Code recog- 
nized and regulated slavery; the Spaniards con- 
tinuing it in force, it operated in Upper Louisiana 
as well as Lower. This in part accounts for the 
migration of Southern slave-holders to the trans- 
Mississippi Missouri section during Spain's owner- 

112 tirte Jfurl of t!)e Jflcur=be=1lj>s; jFlag 

ship, when the ordinance of 1787 prohibiting slav- 
ery in the Northwest territory deflected them from 
the States bordering the Ohio. 

With the crushing of the rebellion and the set- 
ting up of orderly government O'Reilly considered 
his task as Captain-General accomplished. Ac- 
cordingly, at a meeting of the Cabildo on December 
1st, 1769, he yielded his place to the titular gover- 
nor, Don Luis de Unzaga. In the following year 
he took his departure for Spain, where soon after 
his return the jealous enmities he had aroused as 
recipient of the King's favor and the prejudice so 
often inspired when a foreigner is given precedence 
over native sons, combined to encompass his down- 
fall. After the death of the King, Charles III, the 
gallant Irishman's sword rusted in retirement until 
1794. Then it was realized that in all Spain there 
was no other military leader of such commanding 
genius suflScient to meet successfully the menace 
of Napoleon. He was called from his retirement, 
but it was his fate to die while on his way to the 
army, *'his new-born hopes falling as ashes on his 

Spain indeed was unusually happy in her choice 
of governors for the Louisiana colony. All were 
men of rank, breeding, courage and courtesy; all 
devoted themselves to the interests and well-being 
of the colony. They instituted delightful social 
functions and established polite intercourse, the 
true origin of that exquisite charm and refinement 
which, to this day, characterizes Creole society of 

Ki)t ©on CiEftabligfjejf J^i^ Bominion 113 

the higher type in New Orleans. Several took to 
themselves French wives, thereby cementing the 
bonds of popular affection more closely. Their 
names in succession following Ulloa and O'Reilly 
(who was Captain-General and not Governor as 
has been commonly assumed) were Don Luis de 
Unzaga, who went from Louisiana to be Captain- 
General of Caracas; Don Bernardo de Galvez, son 
of the Viceroy of Mexico and who, himself, by his 
great gifts and gallant deeds was to succeed his 
father to that high office; Don Estevan de Miro, 
who was Governor when vain effort was made to 
win the Ohio Valley to Spanish rule.' Francisco 
Louis Hector, Baron de Carondelet, who came 
from the governorship of Guatemala and afterwards 
went to the Presidency of the Royal Audience of 
Quito, Ecuador; Gayoso de Lemos, the hero of one 
of Louisiana's earliest pieces of fiction; the Marquis 
de Casa Calvo and Don Juan de Salcedo. The 
last two served during the waning of Spanish 
power and could do little else in the years of their 
combined administrations than prepare the way for 
the retrocession of the province to France prepara- 
tory to its purchase by the United States. 

I See Chapter Eighteen. 


Valley Dominancy of the Dons 





IN the Illinois district of upper Louisiana during 
the early period of its domination by France, 
there had been planted the six principal posts and 
settlements of Cahokia (Kaokia), St. Philippe, St. 
Anne, Fort Chartres, Kaskaskia and Prairie de 
Rocher, all near the Mississippi River below the 
latitude of St. Louis. 

The fur trade and the search for possible silver 
mines induced the enterprising from time to time 
to cross from these settlements into what is now 
Missouri. Among those who thus ventured were 
Francis and Jean Baptiste Valle, brothers living 
at Fort Chartres, both successful Indian traders 
and noted in those parts for their bravery, honesty 
and kindly ways. They established in 1735 a post 
of their own, which in time became the town of St. 
Genevieve, — the oldest settlement in what is now 
the State of Missouri. 

Among those who pioneered into this region with 
the brothers Valle were Jean Baptiste Maurice, 
Jacques Boyer, Henri Maurice, Parfant Dufour, 


ii8 "^allej Bominantp of tJje 3ion£f 

Louis Boiduc, Francis Coleman, B. N. James and 
J. B. T. Pratt. From the names of the last three 
it is seen that even at this early day English ad- 
venturers were insinuating themselves into the far 
western country, notwithstanding its possession 
by the French who were soon to take drastic steps 
to prevent further invasion. 

When the possibilities of the region became 
better known, the firm of Maxent Laclede & Com- 
pany of New Orleans was granted the exclusive 
privilege of trading with Indians on the Missouri 
River. Under leadership of the junior member of 
the firm, Pierre Laclede Ligueste, or Pierre Laclede, 
as he is better known, an expedition financed by 
the firm went up the Mississippi to Ste. Genevieve, 
crossed over to Fort Chartres and there went into 
winter quarters (1763-4). During the winter La- 
clede himself examined a number of sites and found 
a suitable one to which in the spring he sent Au- 
guste Chouteau and a party of woodsmen who 
made a clearing and erected the necessary cabins 
for a post. A number of French familes moved 
over from Fort Chartres to the new settlement, 
which soon became a very flourishing one, the fur 
trade of the region tributary to it proving very 
profitable indeed. 

The new town was called St. Louis, after the 
King of France. It stands to-day a monument 
to the pioneering enterprise of Laclede and Chou- 
teau, both of whose names are potent enough to 
conjure with when the roll is called of those respon- 

jfiv&t ^vansi'Miiiiiiippi iHigration 119 

sible for the origin and growth of this great city, — 
a city which shares with that other beside Michi- 
gan's lake, the metropolitan honors of the Middle 

The news of the treaty of Paris which gave Loui- 
siana east of the Mississippi to England caused the 
French of the Illinois settlements almost as much 
concern as it did the French in the lower valley, 
when the latter learned that the same treaty gave 
New Orleans and Louisiana west of the Mississippi 
to Spain. To rebel against the proposed change 
was out of the question, however, as they and 
their compatriots of Canada had just been worsted 
in armed controversy with the English. On the 
other hand, to live under the jurisdiction of their 
conquerors was distasteful to many of them. The 
delay of Spain in taking possession of the trans- 
Mississippi region encouraged them in the hope 
that the proposed transfer might never be consum- 
mated, in which event they would then remain 
French subjects indefinitely, simply by moving 
to the other side of the Mississippi. Even if the 
transfer should be made, the banner of Spain was 
to be preferred to that of England, so, where the 
dissatisfaction of the lower Louisiana French took 
the form of revolt, that of the Illinois French took 
the form of exodus. 

Many familes began to cross the river. St. 
Genevieve and St. Louis received large accessions 
to their population. The people of St. Philippe 
migrated almost in a body. Commandant St. 

120 "^allep IBominancp of tfje IBonji 

Ange de Bellerive tarried only long enough to form- 
ally surrender Fort Chartres, the chef lieu of the 
district, to Captain Sterling, the representative 
of General Gage, the English Commander-in-chief, 
who just then was very much engrossed in the ante- 
revolutionary demonstrations around Boston. The 
transfer accomplished (July 17, 1765) St. Ange, 
with his officers and troops at once removed to 
St. Louis, where, in the absence of other legally 
constituted authority, he acted as governor until 

The first Spanish oflBcer to reach the territory 
was Captain Francisco Rios, dispatched by Ulloa 
in 1767. The name of this officer is more closely 
associated with the establishment of the post of 
St. Charles on the Missouri River, which thence- 
forth was to share importance with St. Louis and 
Ste. Genevieve during the early period of Mis- 
souri's history, than with the exercise of any ad- 
ministrative authority. 

Not until 1770 was formal possession taken for 
Spain,when Captain Pedro Piernas sent by O'Reilly 
arrived, confirmed the acts, land grants and de- 
cisions of St. Ange and assumed the duties of Lieu- 
tenant-Governor. The country, however, was 
Spanish only by jurisdiction and possession — 
French in all else. With the exception of officers 
and soldiers to represent authority, less than a 
dozen Spaniards took up their abode in upper 
Louisiana in the forty years it belonged to Spain. 

The rule of the Spanish Lieutenant-Governors 

jfivit ^vmi=Mii^iiiippi ilHigration 121 

in upper Louisiana was mild, surprisingly and grate- 
fully so to the French. Following St. Ange and 
Piernas came Francisco Cruzat; Don Fernando de 
Leyba who died in office ; then Cruzat again ; Man- 
uel Perez; Zenon Trudeau, and finally Charles 
Duhault de Lassus de Delusiere, the last two 
being Frenchmen in the service of Spain. Spanish 
upper Louisiana, therefore, began with a French 
acting-governor and ended with one of French 



DEFORE their removal to Missouri, the French 
^^ of the Illinois settlements had made consid- 
erable progress. Their fur trade extended north 
to the Great Lakes, northwest to the headwaters of 
the Mississippi and for four hundred leagues up the 
Missouri. Their lead mines were productive ; their 
"licks" were furnishing salt in commercial quanti- 
ties; their success in agriculture was pronounced. 
Even the Indians near-by caught the spirit of in- 
dustry from their French neighbors and produced 
larger and more varied crops. 

Commerce and trade with New Orleans and 
Quebec had reached important proportions. As 
early as 1743 we find Marquis de Vaudreuil, then 
Governor of French Louisiana, reporting from New 
Orleans to his superiors in France upon the many 
boats that came from the Illinois Country. He 
describes their cargoes as including flour, corn, 
bacon, hams — both bear and hog — corned beef, 
pork, wild beef, wax of myrtle and of bee, tallow, 
leather, tobacco, lead, buffalo wool, venison, bear 
oil, furs and hides. 


tKiie Habitans of ttje ^pper ^allep 123 

The shippers to Quebec or New Orleans received 
in return manufactured goods, articles of conven- 
ience and luxury, and trinkets adapted to the In- 
dian trade. Merchandising except on a basis of 
exchange and barter was, for a long time, unknown. 
Each householder was a store keeper on a small 
scale, keeping his small stock of manufactured luxu- 
ries and conveniences in a trunk-like chest whose 
contents would be displayed whenever opportu- 
nity for a barter offered. 

It was a comparatively easy matter for the 
French Illinoisian to make of himself a French 
Missourian. The distance over which he trans- 
ported his belongings was not great. His indus- 
tries were such as to be easily moved or taken up 
anew without loss. There was very little differ- 
ence to him between old and new localities. He 
was not as firmly wedded to the soil as the English- 
man would have been, if the latter had been the 
first occupant. The idea of individual ownership 
of land had not as yet taken root in his mind, for 
nothing so plentiful as land was, could be regarded 
by him as valuable. He used it as he did the air 
he breathed — what he needed; but as to fencing 
up a large tract, holding it in idleness, warning 
others to keep off and viewing through meum-and- 
teum glasses the landscape which God and nature 
had provided for him and his fellow man, he had 
yet to take his first lesson from English-speaking 

This in reality is the secret of why the French, 

124 "^allep ©ominancp of tJje Bons! 

as a rule, were regarded with such friendliness by 
the Indians. To both, ownership of land meant 
use. The Frenchman used a small portion for his 
crops ; the Indian a large portion for his hunting, 
trapping, and bark stripping. A Frenchman who 
trapped and hunted shared title to the larger part. 
An Indian villager putting in a corn crop had ex- 
clusive title to the smaller part thus used. Each 
respected the right of the other; therefore, a mutual 
tolerance and a harmony of purpose. 

Said a Shawnee chief in after years to General 
Harrison, "You call us your children! Why do 
you not make us happy as the French did our 
fathers .f^ They never took from us our lands. 
These were common between us. If a poor Indian 
now attempts to take from a tree a little bark to 
cover him from rain, up jumps a white man to 
shoot him, claiming the tree as his own." 

These French westerners lived by preference in 
compact villages, usually of one long narrow street 
with houses near enough together to permit of neigh- 
borly intercourse and of friendly, gossip-yielding 
oversight of one another. The land near-by was 
held in common for grazing and fuel-cutting pur- 
poses. Each villager, however, could have a por- 
tion allotted to him, should he desire to fence it in 
for cultivation. Their cabins, though as crude as 
the dwellings of the first English-speaking pioneers, 
were of different construction and of greater cozi- 
ness. Instead of being built of solid logs "chinked " 
with mud, they usually consisted of a rough but 

^fje Habitans of tfje iKpper "^allep 125 

substantial frame-work with horizontal latticed 
strips well plastered with a mixture of hair or grass 
and clay. In fact, the primitive architecture of 
both French and Spanish, up and down the Missis- 
sippi Valley, seemed to run more to the plastered 
form of dwelling, primitive prototype of the more 
pretentious stuccoed buildings of a later day. 

The French habitans were indeed a care-free 
people. A description of any one of their little 
communities applies to all. Here popular amuse- 
ments, festivals, and holidays were enjoyed with a 
frequency which robbed life of all monotony. The 
young often indulged in dancing while priest and 
village patriarchs looked on complacently. Inno- 
cent frolics and recreations were sanctioned — al- 
most blessed — by the church. The Sabbath was 
a day of pleasure as well as a day of religious ob- 
servances. A young man departing upon a hunt- 
ing or trading trip or upon the long voyage down 
the river to New Orleans was given a hon voyage 
feast before leaving and an almost public celebra- 
tion upon his return. 

Prisons, courts and lawyers were unknown. 
Fairness characterized business transactions ; cour- 
tesy and politeness, social intercourse. The hold 
of the kindly priest upon each community lost no 
strength because of its gentle influence. His 
teachings and admonitions were heeded with an 
affectionate obedience. He taught them that to 
envy, to hate, to cheat, to injure were offenses 
against the good God and the church. When com- 

126 ^allep Bominancp of tfje Bonsf 

mitted, the guilt must be purged from the heart 
and stricken from the soul's record by confession, 
prayer and penance. 

Hospitality was the rule, religion the observance, 
toleration the practice. Betrothal and marriage 
were rites of almost sacrificial holiness. Obedience 
of children to parents, of wife to husband was the 
law of the household ; but love, the law of the heart, 
was the stronger urge to obedience. Very quaint, 
indeed, was it to hear the young daughters of a 
family in the equality of their dawning womanhood, 
call their mother by her given name as if she were 
an elder sister, even reducing it to an affectionate 
diminutive. And if the mother were a widow with 
some of the charm and bloom of youth still clinging 
to her, what raillery and teasings and interchange 
of confidences and scrutiny of possible suitors for 
her hand! And when Youth and Age addressed 
each other, how much more of exquisite, heart- 
touching tenderness could be compressed into their 
ma vielle or mes petites than is ever put into the 
English "my old 'un " or " my little ones " ! Truly 
these French of the Upper Valley were of sturdy, 
lovable, human pioneer stock whose descendants 
may well trace back to them with pride. 

The early French pioneers to the Missouri section 
were soon joined by Americans, notwithstanding 
the fact that with Spanish domination established 
up and down the west bank of the Mississippi, 
that stream became a bar to future extension 
of territory westward on the part of either the 

tirte Habitans of tfie ^pper ^allej* 127 

English colonies, when the bar was first placed, or 
their successors, the United States, when the bar 
was firmly fixed. 

Not that this extension was any time sought or 
desired. Indeed the river served admirably as a 
natural boundary and a line of demarcation so 
definitely drawn was the best insurance against 
clashes when jurisdictional limits are less clearly 
defined. True, clashes were to arise in time but 
these were to be after Spain had added to her pos- 
sessions much of the east bank along the lower 
reaches of the river where boundaries were indefi- 
nite enough to occasion diplomatic disputes. 
Further consideration will be given to this elsewhere. 

While this bar of Spanish possessions operated 
against territorial expansion it did not prevent in- 
dividuals from leaping over the barrier when 
prompted by the pioneer spirit. Indeed every 
encouragement was offered them to do so. Rich 
lands could be had either for the asking or upon 
payment of a pittance to cover the costs of validat- 
ing titles. Opportunities to exploit natural re- 
sources such as mines and salt deposits, were many. 
Unlimited market for crops and unrestricted use 
of the Mississippi for commerce were potent at- 
tractions. It were well for Spain that her outlying 
possessions in upper Louisiana be settled by a peo- 
ple at one with her in antagonism towards things 
English. With England entrenched in Canada and 
in possession of the near-by posts of the northwest 
recently surrendered by the French the menace of 

128 ^allep Bominancp of tfje Bona; 

British invasion impended whenever the mother 
countries took opposite sides in European wars, a 
condition which at times was easily precipitated. 

The idea of preparedness became more and more 
congenial to the Spanish mind. Every inducement 
was offered hardy westerners to become Spanish 
subjects. They were particularly welcome in the 
Missouri section. Even original trans -Alleghany 
pioneers responded to the lure, for many were 
driven to seek new locations when their preemp- 
tive rights to lands which they had wrested from 
the original wilderness were shystered from them by 
the representatives of big grantee land companies 
or ignored by public land offices when these came 
to be established. 

Among those who thus suffered was Daniel 
Boone. A grant of one thousand arpents of land — 
about eight hundred and forty-five acres — on the 
Missouri River, twenty -five miles above St. Charles, 
was sufficient inducement to him to become a 
Spanish subject. He was received with high favor, 
became duly naturalized in his new home and was 
appointed magistrate for his district. He was in- 
strumental in moving one hundred Kentucky and 
Virginia families to Missouri, for which he received 
an additional grant of ten thousand arpents. 

Another sufferer from failure to confirm him in 
the possession of lands whose titles were acquired 
by him originally from the Indians was George 
Morgan. He was a native of Pennsylvania, a grad- 
uate of Princeton and an Indian trader and land 

tIDfje Habitans oC tfje ^pper Vallep 129 

speculator of twenty years' experience. He re- 
ceived from the Spanish Minister to the United 
States, Gardoqui, subject to the King's approval, 
a magnificent grant of twelve million acres fronting 
for three hundred miles on the Mississippi from the 
mouth of the St. Francis, northward. 

Morgan selected New Madrid as the most prom- 
ising site of the new town he proposed to found. 
Here in 1788, he laid out a city, four miles by two, 
with streets one hundred feet wide, building lots of 
half -acre size and attractive reservations for public 
buildings and parks. He then went down the river 
to New Orleans to obtain official confirmation of 
his grant, which Miro, who was Governor at the 
time, refused. Miro himself dispatched a garrison 
to New Madrid, built a fort and instituted a gov- 
ernment which for some time was independent of 
the general one at St. Louis. French from Kas- 
kaskia and Vincennes composed largely the first 
inhabitants of this post. The operations of Mor- 
gan in connection with New Madrid did much to 
draw pioneer attention to the trans-Mississippi 
region. Many of the second generation, following 
the example set by the first, hied themselves to the 
northwest, either because of their inherited migra- 
tory instinct or because of their belief that oppor- 
tunity was there writ larger. This opportunity 
lay principally in the greater facilities for market- 
ing products of the soil and chase, which trade and 
commerce along the Mississippi, already developed 
under the French regime, offered. In many an 

130 ^allep Bominancp of tJje Bonjf 

isolated pioneer community in the region east of 
the Mississippi of that day, little surplus would be 
raised because of high cost of transporting it over- 
land to where a sale might be made. As an old 
Kentucky pioneer explained his reason for moving 
to Missouri, in quaint fashion, "I got plum tired 
doin' nuthin' but growin' things in summer jes' to 
eat 'em up in the winter, the same thing over and 
over every year and gittin' nowhar.'* 

These early migrants to the Missouri section had 
to pass over vast stretches of unoccupied territory 
before reaching their destination, for there was much 
of the wilderness to be won before the conquerors 
of the Mississippi Valley found themselves beating 
up against the breastworks of the Mississippi. 
Long before the frontier line was advanced to that 
stream another frontier line formed beyond it, 
which in its advance westward assumed the prim- 
acy when the two halves of the Valley came to be 



T^HE first immigrants into the lower part of 
■*■ Louisiana during the Spanish regime were 
also French. But how different the circumstances 
of their coming. Far back in 1713 the peace of 
Utrecht had given Acadia or Nova Scotia to Eng- 
land, since which time the English had never been 
able to make loyal and dependable subjects of 
the Acadians. These professed themselves to be 
French neutrals but, naturally, their sympathies 
were with their kindred in Canada and could not 
altogether be suppressed whenever conflict pro- 
mised between France and England or between 
the colonies of these two nations. 

At the outbreak of the old French War of 1755 
it was decided to destroy the menace of their 
presence on English soil. The forceable removal 
of this people from their homes so touchingly des- 
cribed by Longfellow in his Evangeline, with 
greater or less accuracy, followed. It is estimated 
that at least thirteen hundred were shipped to 
Massachusetts and its dependency, the district 


132 "^aUep Bominancp of tfje Bong 

of Maine; four hundred and fifteen to Pennsyl- 
vania, while the remaining English colonies as far 
south as Georgia, received each its quota. A num- 
ber were transported even to England, to make 
their way in time to France and from there back 
to such American possessions as remained to France. 

These exiles wherever placed were penniless, 
miserable outcasts, feeling intensely the onus of 
their wrongs, grief stricken over their separation 
from loved ones — for little or no effort had been 
made to keep families together. Gayarre, Louis- 
iana's eminent historian, in his classic narrative 
of the event, compares them to the Messenians of 
old whom the Spartans drove from bloody hearth- 
stones and ancestral graves to wander pitifully 
over Greece. 

Only intense hatred of the English could be the 
dominant urge of such a people wherever placed. 
The religious faith to which they gave almost idola- 
trous loyalty was regarded by some of the English 
colonial communities upon whom they were quar- 
tered, as almost heretical. They could no more 
be assimilated where they were or lose their racial 
identity amidst such surroundings than could the 
Jew who has ever individualized himself, whatever 
his environment. 

To be where their language was common speech, 
where the breeze-stirred banner of France could 
again float over them, where they could toil in 
quiet beyond reach of the hated English became a 
dream, a longing, an obsession. Santo Domingo 

Coming of tfje iScabians; to tfje ILotoer '¥aUty 133 

and the French West Indies might possibly meet 
their desires. Some of them reached this island 
but found the climate objectionable and continued 
on to Louisiana as a land of greater promise. Grad- 
ually those who had been distributed along the 
Atlantic Coast seeped, journeyed in groups, voy- 
aged in small colonies towards the lower Mississippi 
Valley, not knowing that this region had passed 
to Spain. Their English neighbors encouraged the 
emigration, aided them in the removal and speeded 
their departure, more to be rid of the public burden 
of their support than from motives of charity. It 
took them a long time to arrive at their destination 
but when they did arrive, they found home, friends 
and sympathy. In return they contributed to the 
conglomerate population of the lower Valley, a 
thrifty, intelligent. God-fearing, peace-loving ele- 
ment which has brought forth in its higher types, 
soldiers, jurists, statesmen and industrial leaders 
of whom any race. State or nation might well be 

The first little band of twenty landed on the 
levee front at New Orleans about the time the 
Louisianians were experiencing their first shock 
over the announcement that their country had 
passed to the dominion of Spain. These were the 
Pilgrims of the Acadian migration. Like those 
other Pilgrims who had landed a little less than a 
century and a half before on Plymouth Rock, fore- 
runners of a Puritan migration to follow, this little 
band also had suffered persecution and exile, had 

134 "^allep ©ominancp of ttje Bons! 

sought refuge in distant lands, had been called upon 
to face the unknown and were to win a permanent 
place for themselves in their new environment. 

But what a pathetic little group, huddled to- 
gether, uncertain of welcome, were these! What 
an ill-omen to the Louisiana Colony was their ar- 
rival ! Did it not presage for Louisiana the fate of 
Acadie? Did it not augur similar expulsion and 
exile for the Louisianians ? Were it not wise to take 
steps, however desperate, to avert such a calam- 
ity? Perhaps the tales told by this handful of 
refugees, of their miseries, griefs, separations and 
wanderings, did more than anything else to spur 
the Louisianians to take the stand they did against 
the depatriation ordained for them, a stand whose 
tragic outcome has already been narrated. 

The Acadian migration to Louisiana began in 
earnest, February 8, 1765, with the arrival of two 
hundred and thirty by way of Santo Domingo. 
These were also in a comparatively destitute con- 
dition, the little money they had being Canadian 
and not current at the time in Louisiana. Their 
presence was embarrassing, the colonial treasury 
being then in too sore a strait to permit of any 
public appropriation for them. Private purses, 
however, were opened, to the credit of those who 
at the time were as poor in spirit as the Acadians 
were in pocket. 

Among the Archives of the Louisiana Historical 
Society is a document, bearing date of April 4, 
1765, that testifies to this private generosity. The 

Coming of tf)e llcatiians! to tlje ICotoer ^allep 135 

parties to the contract are Antoine Bernard Dau- 
terive, former Captain of Infantry on one side, and 
nine chiefs of the Acadians whose names as given 
were Joseph Broussard, Alexander Broussard, Jean 
Baptiste Broussard, Victor Broussard, Joseph 
Beausoleil, Joseph Guillebau, Jean Duga, OHvier 
Thibaudeau and Pierre Arcenaud on the other side. 
The witnesses to the contract were Aubry, acting- 
governor; Foucault, Ordonateaur, and Lafreniere, 
Attorney-General. By its terms Captain Dau- 
terive agreed to furnish to each Acadian family, for 
six successive years, one bull and five cows with 
calves. All risk of loss of cattle was to be his for 
the first year, he making up the loss when notified. 
At the end of the six years he was to receive back 
the same number of cattle of the same age and kind 
as the other parties to the contract had originally 
received from him. All increase and profits to be 
equally divided between him and the Acadian 

This was help, indeed, and the fact that the help 
so extended took this form, accounts perhaps for 
the settlement of these Acadians in the vast and 
unsurpassable grazing area of the southwest Louis- 
iana of that early day. Here on the Attakapas 
(pronounced, tuck-a-paw) prairie, so named from 
the "man-eater" Indians originally inhabiting the 
locality, they made their homes and took up a life, 
chiefly pastoral. Sluggish streams traversed this 
prairie ; small wooden clumps or ties dotted its sur- 
face as oases in a level desert. Along the eastern 

136 "Fallej* Bominancp of tJje Bons; 

edge of this region runs Bayou Teche, one of the 
most picturesque of streams, with its twin fringes 
of massive Druidical oaks, venerably bearded with 
long pendants of gray Spanish moss. Here was 
the old Post of the Opelousas, now one of the most 
distinctive and thriving cities of Louisiana ; and the 
Post of the Attakapas, now the quaint and historic 
town of St. Martinsville, in the middle of one of 
whose principal streets stands to this day " Evange- 
line's Oak" where the prototype of Longfellow's 
heroine is supposed to have sat in saddened medi- 
tation over her elusive lover. 

The Acadians were true pioneers in the Western 
sense. They were hardy survivors of disciplinary 
disasters that had eliminated many of the weak and 
unfit. They were a virile race and left progeny 
and descendants innumerable. The names of 
many families of south and southwest Louisiana and 
those beyond the Sabine in Texas indicate descent 
from the "Acadian Chiefs " whose names have been 
cited. A Broussard who served in Congress for 
sixteen years and subsequently in the U. S. Senate 
up to the time of his death was affectionately 
known all over his district as "Couzan Bob" 
(Cousin Bob) so numerous was his clan, descend- 
ants of these early cattle barons. 

At intervals for a number of years there arrived 
other parties of Acadians until, it is estimated, 
more than four thousand took up their abode in 
Louisiana. Some sought the Attakapas country; 
others went to the section along the Lafourche, a 

Coming of ti)t ^tahiansi to tfje Hotoer ^allcp 137 

fork of the Mississippi, beginning where the city 
of Donaldsonville now stands. The river section 
below New Orleans, now constituting the Parish 
of Plaquemines, also received a quota. A party 
of two hundred and sixteen arriving direct from 
Halifax November 16, 1766, was sent up the river 
a short distance from New Orleans to Cahabanoce, 
or what is now the Parish of St. James. These 
gave significance to the term "Acadian Coast" as 
did Law's Alsatians to that of the " German Coast " 
just below St. James.' 

^ This group of Acadians have earned distinction in the industrial 
annals of the country as originators and sole manufacturers of genuine 
"perique" tobacco, an article known to and appreciated by connoisseurs 
the world over. An interesting side-light upon these Acadians, as well 
as upon those of the Attakapas country, is George W. Cable's celebrated 
novel, Bonneventure. 



/CONTRASTED with the Illinois French, who 
^^ migrated to Spanish upper Louisiana, the 
Acadian French who pioneered to the lower por- 
tion appear quite different in their views and modes 
of life. They lived not in compact villages, but 
scattered. They were not a merry-making care- 
free people, for their tragic history was too fresh in 
mind. Saturnity and conservativeness set upon the 
older Acadian patriarchs; sensitiveness and aloof- 
ness upon the younger members of the clans. The 
injustice of which they had been victims seemed to 
inspire in them a stronger belief that justice should 
govern all dealings between man and man and be- 
tween man and government. They had been so 
ill treated by those outside of their own race that 
the way to their confidence was very diflScult of 
approach to the stranger. Confidence once won, 
however, there were no bounds to the loyalty of 
their friendship, or the hospitality of their homes, 
however humble. 

Many of their descendants grew up illiterate — 
for the public school did not come to them until a 


ILiit in tfje ^ttafeapag Countrj» 139 

very late day — but at no time were they unlearned. 
They took their lessons from the books of nature 
and experience, applied what they learned there to 
the mastery of their surroundings, adjusted them- 
selves successfully to their environment and reached 
a greater, more philosophic contentment with life 
as it was to be lived by them, than all the learning 
locked up in libraries could teach. 

As time passed on, the social spirit that had been 
crushed out of them revived. The bruised root 
torn from the old soil took on fresh life in the new, 
giving sustenance to the fruitage of greater con- 
fidence in their fellow man, greater need of social 
intercourse. They became as fond of dancing as 
other members of their race. The distances be- 
tween their abodes, living as they did so scattered, 
made attendance upon social gatherings difficult 
until they bred a famous strain of little wiry, fast- 
gaited ponies that took them untiringly over vast 
stretches of prairie. 

When news went around, as if by some primitive 
wireless system, that a "gumbo" was to be given 
at a certain domicile on a certain night, the prairie 
horizon surrounding the place where the festivities 
were to be held would, during the afternoon, show 
many moving specks — guests converging to the 
gathering point. The night would be spent in 
dancing and in playing sundry games to folklore- 
like songs. The principal refreshment would be 
"gumbo," a thick, appetizing soup made of chicken 
and various meats, sometimes of crawfish, all 

140 "^allep Bominancp of tfje Bonjf 

highly seasoned. Finely powdered bay leaves or 
okra pods gave it a mucilaginous consistency. 
Sometimes wild nuts candied with sugar cane syrup, 
in after years to be perfected into the characteris- 
tic Creole confection known as "pralines," would 
be an added delicacy. 

In no part of the Middle West did the conditions 
of pioneer life and the characteristics to meet these 
conditions, survive to a later date, than in the 
Acadian section of southwestern Louisiana. Home- 
spun, indigo-dyed cottonade, and beautifully de- 
signed woven bed-spreads whose patterns originated 
in the distant and forgotten past, were exhibited 
fresh from the hands of the weavers at the Chicago 
World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. These 
came from the prairie and sea-marsh homes of 
southwestern Louisiana where yet w^ere practiced 
all the arts, crafts and industries characteristic of 
life upon every frontier, where each household has 
to depend wholly upon its own efforts, ingenuity 
and acquired skill for whatever comforts and con- 
veniences it may enjoy. 

Among these survivals, growing fewer year by 
year as the newer pioneers from Iowa and other 
northern States arrived in numbers to dot the 
broad expanse of the Attakapas Country with 
homes, rice-farms, oil-fields, towns and cities, man- 
ners and customs and modes of life have remained 
practically unchanged for more than a hundred 

Let us call, in spirit, with a writer who many 

ILiU in tfje J^ttafeapaiS Countrj> 141 

years ago visited the family of one of the most 
famous weavers of Acadian home-spun fabrics and 
who recorded his experiences in one of Louisiana's 
oldest newspapers. " Gliding over the dark waters 
of one of the many bayous that wind through the 
prairie, we reach a landing where 'Madame,' our 
prospective hostess, accompanied by the whole 
family, from the oldest to the youngest, is ready 
to greet us. Such chatter! Such torrents of talk! 
Such gestures, beautiful in their grace and eloquent 
suggestiveness ! " 

We make our way over green rolling fields 
specked with sleek cows, sheep, horses and goats. 
Our visit is V occasion calling for rejoicing and cele- 
bration. It is one mile to the dwelling. We enter 
a front gate. The path leading up to the house is 
a lily-bordered avenue, the whiteness of whose 
blossoms fit refreshingly into the greenness of the 

The "Cajun" housewife is first of all a home- 
maker. Her house is a temple of neatness and 
order. We enter and realize at once, here is hos- 
pitality almost Arabic in its completeness. We are 
addressed from the start as Mon Ami in such a 
way that we speculate upon how lonely they must 
have been all these years separated from us. 

We are led through the house without em- 
barrassment or hesitancy. Nowhere lurks a room 
in the slightest disorder. The furniture is of ex- 
cellent design, some of it more than one hundred 
years old. There are four-posted beds, lace-draped 

142 '^anej> Hominancp of tfje Bons; 

and homespun coverletted. Massive walnut ar- 
moires to take the place of clothes closets. The 
"bureaus" better known to us, perhaps, as "dress- 
ers" lack the usual implements of feminine vanity 
and adornment, but each holds a crucifix, sometimes 
a picture of the Blessed Virgin, always a rosary. 
Nun-like, cloister-suggesting absence of ornamen- 
tation seems to prevail in every room. 

We are at once served, on a great waiter passed 
by a son of the house, cafe noir. The coflFee made 
by the " Cajun " is a brew that stimulates the brain, 
quickens the imagination, loosens the tongue and 
makes one for the time quick-witted in repartee. 
How it is made is another question. It is to the 
"Cajun" what the cocktail was to the club man, 
before Prohibition deprived him of his stimulant. 
It is served in quantity tantalizingly small, about 
four tablespoons to the cup, but strong and of dye- 
like blackness. One remembers the magic brew 
for many a day. 

Dinner is announced. The menu is : Gumbo des 
Crevise (Crawfish "gumbo ") ; Cochon de Lait (Roast 
sucking pig); Du Pain Mais (Corn bread); Ris 
Jamhalaya (a mystery dish of rice flavored with all 
sorts of gravies and condiments); Fricasse Cham- 
pignons (stewed wild mushroom); Kush-Kush (a 
typical "Cajun" dish made of fried yellow hom- 
iny) ; Canard Farci (Roast duck) and Ambrosia (a 
desert of chopped fruits) . We are urged and urged 
to have un tout petit morceau encore — just a little 
bit more. We win the affection of our hostess by 

ILiit in tfje l^ttafeapas; Country 143 

repeated acceptances of her bounty. The larger 
our appetites, the greater her pleasure. 

After the meal, we repair to the front galerie 
or porch; we are given comfortable rocking chairs; 
the family group themselves about us . The mother 
is the voluble one. We exchange questions, in- 
formation, confidences. The children, big and lit- 
tle, hang on our words as if in expectancy of in- 
tellectual tidbits to be treasured up and mentally 
chewed over. Occasionally they whisper to an 
elder some question to be asked of us that 
curiosity or desire for information may have 

We are fortunate "to have much French" but 
occasionally our language as laid down by the 
French Academy, has to be re-stated in "Cajun" 

Our host throughout, sits imperturbably but im- 
pressively benign. His wife is the mouthpiece 
through which his spirit expresses its desire that 
we feel at home. As in other French households, 
the women dominate. His acquiescence to this 
condition of affairs was won from him generations 
before he was born. At times he gazes pensively 
over the broad expanse beyond the front gate, 
with its blue mists of distance topping the paling 
greens of the horizon. All is serene with him and 
yet one catches an expression of indefinable sadness 
when his features fall into repose. Is he heir to a 
race-memory on which is registered the sorrows of 
his forebears .f^ Does it bring him blurred, un- 

144 "^allej) ©ominancp of tfje Bonjf 

graspable waking-dreams of the grievous experi- 
ences of his exiled ancestors? 

Before the close of the Spanish regime there were 
other French-speaking exiles to seek a refuge of 
obscurity on the borders of the trans-Mississippi 
frontier of lower Louisiana. These were of the no- 
bility of France, driven in fear of death from their 
native country by the threats and horrors of the 
French Revolution. Spain being at peace with 
France, it was not incumbent upon her to harbor 
refugees escaping punishment intended to be meted 
out by the Revolutionary authorities constituting 
the then existing and sole government of France. 
The Spanish authorities at New Orleans winked 
at the arrival and presence of these refugees, how- 
ever, permitting them to disappear to places un- 
known ( !) before official action intentionally slug- 
gish, could be taken. St. Martinsville received 
the greater number of these emigres. These 
brought with them from Europe, as treasured pos- 
sessions, much of the finery they had worn in a 
happier time when the French Court was at the 
zenith of its elegance. They imparted such char- 
acter and quality to the population and to the 
social intercourse of the little community, that St. 
Martinsville came to be known by a second title 
of "Little Paris." 

One of the fairest daughters of these emigres is 
credited with having inspired a world industry 
that occasions woman much joy and man, the bill 
payer, much concern. It seems this young lady 

TLift in tfje l^lttafeapas! Country 145 

was a great social favorite and of such exquisite 
taste in dress as to be patterned after by the other 
damsels of the town who aspired to a popularity 
similar to hers. 

A youth passing on horseback before her dwelling 
prompted her to seize an opportunity to send a 
message by him. No head scarf being convenient 
and not wishing to suffer the effects of a glaring 
sun, she seized her brother's broad-brimmed home- 
spun palmetto-straw hat hanging conveniently 
nearby, jammed it on her head, and held it coquet- 
tishly by the brim bent down over her ears while 
she stood observed of all on the street and delivered 
the message. 

Immediately the feminine mind of the com- 
munity began to work. ''Mais, that is the new 
style of headdress. Surely we must wear it to be 
in the fashion." The next Sunday in church every 
damsel in the town, except the young lady herself, 
had her brother's, or other male relative's, straw 
hat on jammed over her ears. 

The originator at once caught the idea. If 
gentlemen wore hats, why not ladies .^^ She pro- 
cured a supply of straw, wove a hat of her own, 
decorated it with ribbons and sundry finery and 
appeared resplendent at church the next Sabbath. 
Sensation ! Wild flutterings of the feminine heart ! 
Prompt copyings of the divine model! The busi- 
ness of catering to the Easter parades held annu- 
ally, not to mention the supplying of innumerable 
"loves" and "ducks" as applied to millinery, 

146 '^alU^ Bominancp of tfje Bonjf 

started right there. A "Little Paris" hat made 
its way to New Orleans where it aroused enthu- 
siasm. In time the idea reached the larger Paris 
of Europe, where immediately it sprang into popu- 
larity and was elaborated upon. How many mil- 
lions of "creations" based upon this idea have 
since gone forth to the four points of the compass 
from this world center of style and fashion ! How 
many more millions of imitations of these creations 
are put together annually in the shops and homes 
of civilized lands! Refer to paintings and illus- 
trations showing woman's headgear of a hundred 
or more years ago and see how, when elaborate- 
ness is sought, it runs principally to coiffure or 
hair arrangement. If covering of any kind is 
shown, it is usually of stiff, simple outline and ma- 
terial or of a shawl- or scarf -like order. Compare 
these with woman's adornment of the present day. 
Study, in sorrow, depleted bank accounts drained 
in paying this tribute which feminine vanity ex- 
acts, then put the blame where it is said to belong 
— upon this little pioneer community on the south- 
western frontier of one hundred and fifty or more 
years ago, nestled beside the still smooth waters of 
the slowly flowing Teche. 



IV^ENTION has already been made of the clash 
^^^ between England and France over territory 
in the Mississippi Valley, whose final outcome 
was England's gain. Let consideration now be 
given to a clash arising shortly thereafter between 
England and Spain, whose outcome as to England 
was not to result as fortunately. 

It was during the fourth year of the war of the 
American Revolution and only ten years after 
formal possession of Louisiana had been taken by 
Spain that this last clash occurred, for it was in that 
year that Spain, in the hope of recovering the much 
coveted fortress of Gibraltar, decided to join with 
her neighbor, France, in aiding the rebelling Ameri- 
cans in their war upon England. 

While Spain, in this war, did not take as con- 
spicuous a part as did France in either land or 
naval operations along the Atlantic seaboard, yet 
she did her part effectively in crippling the power 
of England in America. This part was played 
principally in the Mississippi Valley, where not 


148 "Fallep Bominancp of tfje Bons; 

only military campaigns were undertaken, but 
much needed supplies and munitions were collected 
at New Orleans and forwarded to the Americans 
by way of Pittsburgh. 

Before Spain entered the war, however, the 
Americans had undertaken some operations of 
their own in the Valley. These were directed to 
the northwest or Illinois-Indiana section as well 
as to the southwest or West Florida section. 

The northwest section, claimed by Virginia, 
was in possession of the British and was ruled 
from Canada. Around the forts and posts still 
lived French habitans, that had not joined the exo- 
dus to Missouri. With war declared, the British 
garrisons of these posts were a menace to the fron- 
tier settlements of Kentucky. This menace be- 
came a positive danger when Lieutenant-Governor 
Hamilton of Canada began to encourage and sub- 
sidize foraging parties of Indians, promising a 
bounty for every scalp secured. Kentucky being 
at that time a "District" of Virginia, it was in- 
cumbent upon the latter to protect its own. 

Governor Patrick Henry of Virginia commis- 
sioned George Rogers Clark, a well-known young 
and courageous backwoodsman, to organize the 
"Long Knives," as the frontier men of Kentucky 
were called, and lead an expedition into the North- 

Avoiding the river route where his movements 
could be easily watched and possibly forestalled, 
Clark marched across the country, and took Kas- 

Sfie l^merican i^ebolution 149 

kaskia by surprise so complete that no resistance 
was offered. The joyous festivities of a "dance" 
in progress at the time of Clark's arrival were turned 
to a sudden panic. The French villagers could 
but expect the bloody consequences that usually 
accompanied the incident of capture in border war- 
fare. Father Gibault, the loyal priest, appeared 
before Clark to plead for leniency towards his 
people and greatly to his surprise was assured that 
the Americans were not butchers of the helpless but 
had come as friends of the habitans to relieve them 
of the British yoke. The French received the as- 
surance with great relief and rejoicings. The news 
of the kindly attitude of the Americans spread to 
the other Illinois settlements. When Clark pro- 
ceeded to the attack of Cahokia, he was met with 
greetings, instead of bullets. He found Fort Char- 
tres, at one time described as "the best built fort 
in North America," deserted and in ruins. With- 
out losing a man he had thus made himself master 
of all the Illinois posts. 

The French at once enlisted thenselves in the 
work of winning the Indians away from British 
influences. Clark held powwows in the vicinity 
of Cahokia, where many Indians had gathered in 
council. He succeeded in signing up many of the 
chiefs in treaties assuring either their neutrality 
or their allegiance to the Americans. He organized 
several companies of local militia, established civil 
government, constituted the settlements into the 
County of Illinois of the State of Virginia and ap- 

150 "^allep Bominancp of ti)t H)on£f 

pointed Captain John Todd, a Virginian serving 
in Clark's little army, as governor. 

Meanwhile, Father Gibault and a small party of 
leading Kaskaskians had made their way eastward 
to the settlements on the Wabash, where they per- 
suaded the habitans to offer no opposition to the 
Americans. The commander at Vincennes had 
lately gone to Detroit, leaving the post in a com- 
paratively defenseless state. The people of the 
post, at Father Gibault's suggestion, took matters 
in hand for themselves, swore allegiance to Vir- 
ginia, and, as Clark expressed it, *' began to act as 

When Father Gibault returned with the good 
news, Clark dispatched Captain Leonard Helm 
with one soldier to take charge of the post. This 
garrison of two was what opposed General Hamil- 
ton upon his return from Canada with a formidable 
force to regain Vincennes. With characteristic 
"bluff" Helm exacted of Hamilton, who was igno- 
rant of the ridiculously small number opposed to 
him, a concession of "the honors of war" and 
"safe conduct through the enemy's lines" before 

While in the Illinois Country, Clark was fortu- 
nate enough to enlist the friendship of Don Fran- 
cisco Vigo, a wealthy Spanish trader of St. Louis, 
with whose financial support he was enabled to 
set out immediately to the recapture of Vincennes, 
an undertaking which Hamilton felt sure the 
American would not even dream of doing, owing 

tlDfie Hmerican l^ebolution 151 

to the lateness of the season, the unfavorable 
weather conditions and theimpassablenessof routes 
of travel. So firmly fixed was this belief that he 
sent back a large part of his force to their winter 
quarters in Canada. 

Clark and his men accomplished the almost im- 
possible, waded through swamps, went days with- 
out food, arrived unexpectedly, and after a sharp 
engagement forced Hamilton to surrender, sending 
the "Hair Buyer" a prisoner to Williamsburg, the 
seat of government of Virginia. With the fall 
of Vincennes Clark's mission was accomplished. 
He had won for Virginia by conquest that which 
was hers by original charter, — the great area which, 
as the Northwest Territory, she was unselfishly 
to present to the government of the United States 
to the end that harmony among the constituent 
States might prevail. 

It will be remembered that the British by the 
treaty of 1763 had been put in possession of West 
Florida, which extended to the Mississippi River 
and adjoined on the north the Spanish island of 
New Orleans. The narrow, partly-clogged-up 
Bayou Manchac, otherwise known as the Iberville 
River, connecting the Mississippi and Lakes Mau- 
repas and Pontchartrain, separated the two pos- 

At first the northern boundary line of British 
West Florida was fixed at the thirty-first parallel 
of latitude. The southern half of what is now 
Mississippi and Alabama, down to this line, was 

152 "^allep Bominancp of tfje Bong 

presumably a part of the original Georgia grant 
and, like other westward extending territorial claims 
of the seaboard colonies, had been confirmed by 
England's victory in the war by which the east 
half of the Mississippi Valley had been wrested 
from France. 

But the capital of Georgia was too distant for 
the proper governmental administration of this 
region, so it was annexed to West Florida, making 
the latter's northern limits extend to a line drawn 
from the mouth of the Yazoo River due east to the 
Chattahoochee. This brought the long settled 
section around Natchez within the jurisdiction of 
Pensacola, the capital of West Florida. 

When the Americans awoke to the fact that 
there were fourteen English colonies in America in- 
stead of thirteen, and that the fourteenth. West 
Florida, controlling as it did a long stretch of the 
Mississippi River, was in position, if it remained 
loyal to England, to cut off needed supplies coming 
up the river from New Orleans, it appeared to them 
a matter of importance to win West Florida to the 
Patriot cause, or take steps to forestall any possi- 
ble hostile action upon its part. 

It is to be regretted that the Continental Con- 
gress chose for the purpose the instrument it did in 
the person of JamesWilling, who, from all accounts, 
was an adventurer of brutal instincts, masked by 
a gentlemanly bearing. 

"Willing," says Martin, the Louisiana historian, "visited 
the British settlements on the Mississippi and some of his 

^fje jamerican l^ebolution 153 

companions crossed over to Mobile, with a view to induce 
its inhabitants to raise the striped banner and join their 
countrymen in the struggle for freedom. The people of both 
the Floridas decided to remain steadfast to the royal cause 
. . . the thin and sparse population of the Floridas, their dis- 
tance from the provinces engaged in war and the consequent 
diflBculty of receiving assistance, had its influence on the 
conduct of the inhabitants." 

Willing was hospitably entertained at Baton 
Rouge, Natchez and other points visited. No one 
suspected that a plot against his entertainers was 
shaping itself in his mind. He returned to Penn- 
sylvania and made overdrawn representations to 
Congress, then sitting at Lancaster. He so im- 
pressed them with the idea that danger to the 
American cause lurked in the southwest, that he 
was vested with authority to meet the danger by 
securing the neutrality of the West Floridians. 

Returning to Natchez with an armed retinue, 
he at first proceeded to carry out the instructions 
given him. He found it no diflScult matter to pre- 
vail upon many to take the oath of neutrality. 
But the opportunity for loot could not be renounced 
by so greedy an adventurer. Upon one pretext or 
another, he entered upon a career of confiscation, 
robbery and cruelty. The very homes in which 
he had been graciously entertained as an honored 
guest during his previous visit were the greatest 
sufferers from his depredations. Many unfortu- 
nates, bereft of their all, were forced to take refuge 
across the river among the unfriendly but more 

154 ^allep Bominancp of tf)e Bon£( 

humane Louisianians. But for his wanton, un- 
provoked outrages upon the helpless non-combat- 
ants and upon peacefully inclined communities, 
West Florida might have been won to the Ameri- 
can cause, the Governor and garrison at Pensacola 
being too far away to interpose any active oppo- 
sition to such a move. As the Carolinas to the 
east had their Bloody Tarleton to ignore the us- 
ages of civilized warfare, so West Florida in the 
lower Valley had its "Brute Willing" to garb him- 
self in the cloak of patriotism as a studied excuse 
for license and crime. 

In connection with the supplies that went up 
the river from New Orleans to the Americans there 
appears upon the scene an interesting personality 
in the merchant and financier, Oliver Pollock, 
whose part in the war of the American Revolution 
has received the ungrateful award of unmerited 
obscurity. Pollock was a native of Ireland, a 
resident first of Carlisle, Pa., to which his father had 
migrated, then of Havana, Cuba, where he mastered 
the Spanish language, engaged in mercantile pur- 
suits and attained remarkable success. During 
his residence in the Cuban capital, a warm per- 
sonal friendship sprang up between himself and 
that other brilliant Spaniard of Hibernian origin, 
Captain-General O'Reilly. 

When O'Reilly was sent to New Orleans to es- 
tablish Spanish authority over Louisiana, Pollock 
followed. Here he soon made a place for himself 
in the esteem of the authorities and in the affections 

^fit ^mtxican i^ebolution 155 

of the people; for upon one occasion, when famine 
threatened the colony, owing practically to the 
suspension of commerce during the Ulloa troubles, 
Pollock happened to have a ship load of flour, 
newly-arrived. Instead of taking advantage of 
the situation and reaping the large profits which 
the monopoly of a necessity would have assured 
him, he generously and voluntarily placed the 
whole shipment at the disposal of the Governor, 
to be distributed at ordinary and reasonable prices. 
For this he was so commended to the King that he 
received a number of marks of favor. Among these 
were special trade privileges and duty-exemptions. 

Pollock became the intimate friend and adviser 
of both Governor Unzaga and the latter's succes- 
sor. Governor Galvez. Strongly siding with the 
American Revolutionists, he was in position to 
aid them effectively. His fame as a financier and 
well-wisher of the Patriot cause reached Philadel- 
phia. The Continental Congress appointed him 
its Commercial Agent at New Orleans. The Gov- 
ernor of Virginia, Patrick Henry, also appointed 
him special agent for that colony. In connection 
with this latter appointment. Pollock was princi- 
pally responsible for the financing of the George 
Rogers Clark Expedition. Without the services of 
this "Robert Morris of the West" in this respect 
Clark's brilliant enterprise, which resulted in driv- 
ing the British from Virginia's northwest terri- 
tory, could never have been successfully launched 
or carried out. 

156 ^allep JSominancp of tfje IBonsi 

From his own resources and from the pledging 
of his personal credit, it is said. Pollock raised in all 
about $300,000 for the government of the Conti- 
nental Congress and for that of Virginia. In the 
course of time delay in requiting him led to his 
financial embarrassment and to his imprisonment at 
Havana for debt. His friend, Galvez, promoted 
to the high office of Governor-General of Cuba and 
Louisiana, upon arrival at Havana, promptly lib- 
erated him, vouching for his integrity and good 

Promptly upon his release, Pollock courageously 
took up the uphill work of resuscitating his de- 
pleted fortune. Evey debt for which he had stood 
responsible was paid off before he retired to private 
life. He died at an advanced age at Pinckneyville, 
Mississippi, December 17, 1823. The sacrifices 
he had made for the cause of American Independ- 
ence were almost forgotten at the time of his death. 
Scant were the honors paid him, save the eulo- 
gies of those who knew him well. In the annals of 
the war of the American Revolution his name 
should find place beside that other sufferer from 
the proverbial ingratitude of republics — Philadel- 
phia's great patriotic financier, with whom he has 
often been compared. 

With the entrance of Spain into the war, the 
British turned what little attention they could 
distract from their rebelling subjects to the seizure 
of upper Spanish Louisiana. By reinforcing Fort 
Bute at Manchac, Fort Charlotte at Mobile and 

(Kje ^mtvitan l^tMntion 157 

Fort St. George at Pensacola and by placing a 
strong force at Baton Rouge they felt secure in the 
lower Valley. They planned to advance upon up- 
per Louisiana from two directions. General Camp- 
bell at Pensacola was to send a force up the river 
from the Floridas with whom General Sinclair and 
a force from Michilimackinac were to cooperate. 

The expedition despatched by Sinclair, consist- 
ing of some fifteen hundred Indians with a small 
contingent of soldiers, made its way to the east 
bank of the Mississippi River above St. Louis. 
Some of the Indians under Ducharme, a French 
fur trader, whose enmity the Spanish authorities 
had incurred two years previously, crossed the 
river and surprised, with more or less success, the 
workers in outlying fields around St. Louis. Re- 
inforced, the party moved to its main attack upon 
the settlement itself but was repelled by the inhabit- 
ants under the gallant leadership of Pierre and 
August Chouteau . With suddenness unaccountable 
at the time, the attackers disappeared and returned 
post-haste to Canada. 

The next year (1781), partly in retaliation and 
partly to establish a territorial claim by conquest, 
Governor Cruzat despatched a force under Don 
Eugenio Poure with Don Charles Tyon as second 
in command and Don Louis Chevalier as chief in- 
terpreter, to attack the British post at St. Joseph, 
Michigan. This expedition was eminently suc- 
cessful. The fort was destroyed, its supplies dis- 
tributed among the friendly Indians cooperating 

158 "^allep Bominancp of tfje Bong 

with the expedition, and the fort's flag brought to 
St. Louis as a memento of victory. 

Meanwhile, the British in the lower Valley found 
themselves on the defensive to such an extent that 
Campbell could not give the promised cooperation 
as planned to Sinclair. When Spain espoused the 
cause of the Americans, Don Bernardo de Galvez 
was Governor of Louisiana. He was but a youth 
in years but was possessed of qualities which even 
age and experience cannot impart — intrepidity and 
genius. As soon as Spain declared war, he took 
upon himself the conquest of West Florida, nearby. 
With a force of fourteen hundred men he marched 
northward from New Orleans, stormed and cap- 
tured Fort Bute at the crossing of Bayou Manchac, 
and advancing farther compelled the surrender of 
Baton Rouge with its garrison of five hundred men, 
after a spirited engagement. A part of his com- 
mand then went up the river and occupied Fort 
Panmure, near Natchez. His next undertaking 
was against Mobile, which surrendered March 14, 
1780. News of these successes was what probably 
caused the sudden retreat of the British and In- 
dians from upper Louisiana after the attack on St. 

It is needless to say that the achievements of 
Galvez were viewed with great satisfaction, both 
in America and Spain. General Washington sent 
a letter of congratulation from his winter quarters 
at Morristown. Spain extended every encourage- 
ment to the young commander to complete the con- 

tBf)t American Bebolution 159 

quest he had begun. He gathered a force of 
ships and men at Havana and set out to attack 
Pensacola. Here he was joined by Miro from New 
Orleans and by Espeleta from Mobile. 

The British at this point were much better pre- 
pared for resistance than they had been at Baton 
Rouge and Mobile. The personal bravery and 
initiative of Galvez were the deciding factors in 
the operations that followed. After a siege of 
several weeks, he forced the capitulation of the 
garrison of Fort St. George and the surrender of 
Pensacola itself. With the fall of this last English 
stronghold on the Gulf, the Floridas, both east 
and west, became, by right of conquest, Spanish 
territory again. The treaty of 1783, terminating 
the war of the American Revolution, confirmed 
this right. Once more Spain held by occupancy 
and possession much of what had once been 
hers by the discoveries and explorations of De 

Many honors were bestowed upon Galvez in re- 
ward for his brilliant services. He was commis- 
sioned Lieutenant-General, decorated with the 
cross of Knight Pensioner and created a count. 
He was appointed Captain-General of Louisiana 
and of the Floridas; Governor-General of Cuba, 
Louisiana and the Floridas, and, finally. Viceroy 
of Mexico. With a record achieved by few of 
his years, he died at the early age of thirty- 

The military operations of Spain in the Valley 

i6o ^allep Bominancp of t^e BottJJ 

during the war of the American Revolution, while 
of interest as constituting a picturesque phase of 
the Valley's history, have not received much em- 
phasis at the hands of historians. In this it is be- 
lieved an error has been made, for in the light of 
subsequent developments and of certain events 
occurring during the fifteen or more years following 
this war, the successful expedition to St. Joseph, 
Michigan, and the acquirement of so large a section 
of the lower Valley as West Florida then was, be- 
came of large significance. There is little doubt 
but that these two achievements set the Spanish 
mind to thinking of the possibility of acquiring 
possession of the whole eastern half of the Valley, 
of making the eastern limits of Spanish Louisiana 
what they had been when Louisiana was French — 
the Appalachian Mountains. The southern half 
of what is now Mississippi and Alabama already 
under the Spanish flag, their northern half an un- 
settled wilderness, ownership of which might still 
be determined by Indian treaty, the settlers of 
Tennessee and Kentucky possibly to be won over by 
bribe and blandishments, the French, still a strong 
element in the Illinois Country, already favorable 
to Spanish rule in the upper Valley — all contributed 
elements out of which was assembled a visualiza- 
tion of extended Spanish dominion. Intrigue and 
diplomacy immediately began where military con- 
quest left off. When Spain's jurisdiction leaped 
the bounds of the Mississippi and Manchac Rivers, 
a natural barrier was obliterated and an artificial 

.5 » 

Wt)t ^mtvitan l^ebolution i6i 

one created, carrying with it the inevitable threat 
that, possibly, might and cunning might be meas- 
ured against right and justice whenever final ad- 
justment should come to be made. 



VV/ITH West Florida won to Spanish dominion 
^^ as one of the results of the war of the Ameri- 
can Revolution, Spain's bar of possession, originally 
drawn down the Mississippi Valley from north to 
south, became bent to the form of a right angle, 
with apex resting upon the junction of the Yazoo 
and Mississippi Rivers and with arms extending to 
the north and east as yawning jaws ready to close 
down upon the rich valleys of the Ohio and its 

Let it not be supposed that Spain took up arms 
against Great Britain in this war through any real 
friendship for the Americans. However disposed 
the Spanish authorities at New Orleans may have 
been to cooperate unoflScially with the American 
commissioner to permit munitions of war to be 
collected and sent forward up the river to Pitts- 
burgh, the attitude of Spain herself was far from 
cordial or conciliatory. It was really to her inter- 
est that the war be prolonged as much as possible 
for the greater weakening it would bring to her 
enemy, England. To that end she was little dis- 


^panisifi intrigue anb Mtittvn Winvtsit 163 

posed to acknowledge the independence of the re- 
volting colonies, though warring on their side. Had 
she done so with due promptness, the war might 
have formally ended by treaty, as it did in fact, 
two years before the treaty was finally signed. 

The motive actuating Spain in the matter, be- 
side the hope of wresting Gibraltar from England, 
should the latter be sufficiently enfeebled, was to 
possess herself of the territory drained by the Ohio 
and its tributaries which, under the "Quebec Act, " 
England had taken to herself as against all claims 
to the region held by the several colonies having 
charter rights thereto. Being English territory, it 
was subject to conquest or to disposal by treaty 
and hence might well fall to Spain when the final 
adjustments ending the war came to be made. But 
the hopes of the Dons in this respect failed of real- 
ization, for by the terms of the treaty, the territory 
between the Alleghanies and the Mississippi be- 
came the property of the United States, — then a 
loose confederation of States, and not the stronger 
Federal Union that now exists. 

Meanwhile, the territory south of the Ohio had 
been filling up with a pioneer people, battle-tried 
and danger-tempered to the point of effective re- 
sistance, a people whose powers and ability to hold 
their own against invasion exacted a profound re- 
spect from all who had ever come in contact with 
them. Wise were it to hesitate before entering 
into armed conflict with them. Better were it to 
wean them from their present allegiance, to induce 

i64 "^allep Bominancp ot tt^ Bong 

them to withdraw from a government too weak 
and too remote either to protect them or to con- 
serve their best interests, to instill in their minds a 
conviction that these interests could best be pro- 
moted by becoming one with the rest of the Valley 
already under Spanish control. To influence in- 
dividuals by bribe, fee or promise of advancement, 
to undertake actively the propagation and strength- 
ening of this conviction was deemed a legitimate 
means to a desired end. 

The prosperity of the Kentucky and Tennessee 
settlements depended absolutely upon the facility 
with which consuming markets for farm products 
could be reached. The long haul across the Alle- 
ghanies to Philadelphia, Baltimore and other East- 
ern cities was out of the question for grain, fruits, 
tobacco, and other bulky products. The cost of 
hauling amounted to more than the value of the 
article hauled. The only alternative was to ship 
by water, and the only water route was that which 
had the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers for its trunk 
line and their tributaries for its feeders. When 
this route was closed to them, their only recourse 
was to transform or transmute their bulkiest pro- 
ducts, such as corn, into the less bulky whiskey, — 
an article marketable and consumable at all times 
and in all places, having a compactness in propor- 
tion to value sufficient to justify expense of over- 
land transportation ; or to feed the corn to hogs and 
cattle that transported themselves when driven 
to Eastern points. Subsistence on the drive was 

^panifiifi intrigue anb Mtittvn Winvtui 165 

derived from the mast and vegetation along the 

The live-stock industry of this section was, 
therefore, always stimulated when Mississippi navi- 
gation was closed to Western commerce. It reached 
such proportions during protracted periods of this 
closure that when Cincinnati came to be founded, 
business enterprise found expression in the devel- 
opment of packing industries. To this the 
"Queen City" owes its early growth, its prestige 
and its ancient pseudonym "Porkopolis," its pre- 
eminence continuing for many years until the cit- 
ies west of it arose and became greater live-stock 

The Spaniards owning both banks of the Mis- 
sissippi from the mouth of the Yazoo down felt 
themselves possessed of an effective grappling hook 
with which to draw the settlers of the Ohio Valley 
to the jurisdiction of Spain when they reserved the 
free navigation of the Mississippi River exclusively 
to Spanish subjects. True, under Article 8 of the 
definitive Treaty of Paris, terminating the war 
of the American Revolution, the navigation of the 
Mississippi from its source to its mouth had been 
declared free and open to the citizens of the United 
States and to the subjects of Great Britain, on the 
supposition that the right of navigation granted to 
British subjects by Spain in 1763 passed to the 
new sovereigns of the Western country. But Spain 
had no intention of conceding this right to so weak 
a contender as the United States. She withheld 

1 66 "^allep Bominamp of tfje Bonjf 

this concession officially, — though permitting it tac- 
itly upon certain special occasions — all through the 
war of the American Revolution, maintaining that 
as the Americans owned no territory along the 
banks of this stream, they had no right to the 
stream's use. 

After the war ended, however, this reason could 
no longer be urged. Permission or prohibition be- 
came arbitrary. A farmer on the Cumberland or 
the Tennessee River might set out on the long 
drift-voyage down stream to Natchez or New Or- 
leans with a flatboat load of his farm products, 
assured when he started that all would be well, only 
to be met with fine or confiscation at the end of the 
voyage. He could do nothing but return in cha- 
grin over the weakness of the government under 
which he lived that could give him no protection 
in his need and exact no satisfaction for his loss. 
Another one by luck, collusion or some happy per- 
sonal influence might get his products through 
without mishap and return delighted with his prof- 
its, ready to sing paeans in praise of the Spaniard 
under whose beneficent rule with its perpetual 
guarantees of the free use of the river and of an 
ever dependable export market at New Orleans, 
it would be quite advantageous to dwell. 

Certain diplomatic moves, news of which came 
to them, confirmed the settlers of the Ohio Valley 
in the belief that the general government had little 
interest in their prosperity and held of no impor- 
tance concerns vital to their welfare. A condition 

^panijff) intrigue anb Mtsittxn Winxtsii 167 

of general protest and irritability from which revo- 
lutionary and secessionary movements often arise, 
developed rapidly when John Jay, Secretary of 
Foreign Affairs, under the Confederation, proposed 
to Don Diego de Gardoqui, Spain's first ministerial 
representative to this country, that the United 
States would renounce all claim to the navigation 
of that part of the Mississippi River where Spain 
had jurisdiction over both banks, for a period of 
twenty -five years, in return for free access to the 
Mediterranean ports which Spain had closed to 
American commerce immediately after the close of 
the Revolution, — to the great injury of American 
merchants and exporters. 

While Congress withheld its approval of this 
suggestion, yet the Western settlers could see in 
the move nothing more or less than a disposition 
on the part of the East to sacrifice Western interests 
for the benefit of the north Atlantic seaports, 
where American commercial and maritime enter- 
prise was centered. 

In all our diplomatic history no more lamentable 
a record for unpopularity is to be found than that 
credited to John Jay. Had he succeeded in his 
proposed sacrifice of the rights of the Western set- 
tlers, it is difficult to conceive the irreparable injury 
that might have been inflicted, abortive in its effects 
on the Republic of the United States about to be 
born. For it was the commercial needs of the 
seaboard States that brought together the Federal 
Convention from which our present Federal Gov- 

1 68 "^allep Bominancp of tfje Bons; 

ernment sprung, and had there been an easing up 
of the commercial situation promised by such con- 
cessions and compromises as Jay proposed to make, 
it might, if consummated, have postponed indefi- 
nitely the recognition of any need of a stronger 
union and therefore prolonged to that extent the 
condition of our national weakness. Instead of 
now stretching from sea to sea, we might have 
long ago found ourselves a Central-American-like 
string of small States fringing the Atlantic from 
Maine to Georgia, robbed of our choicest citizenry 
conscripted to build up Spanish empire in the Cen- 
tral West. 

Spain's representatives were prompt to play 
upon the dissatisfaction of the Westerners. Emis- 
saries were employed and dispatched to institute 
a propaganda of secession in Kentucky and Ten- 
nessee. Some whose names have high places of 
honor in the annals of the West were disposed to 
listen to these emissaries. It is an error, however, 
to condemn these as treasonably inclined, which 
one might be tempted to do without proper regard 
to the conditions and circumstances existing at the 
time. Bear in mind that the "American Govern- 
ment under the Articles of Confederation" was 
falling apart of its own weakness, and in no posi- 
tion to enforce direct authority ; that when the war 
of the Revolution which called it into existence was 
ended, there was little about this government to 
inspire that respect, obedience and patriotic loyalty 
which is freely yielded by the citizens to the Gov- 

^panigf) intrigue anb Mtsittxn Winvtat 169 

ernment of the United States of to-day ; that Ken- 
tucky was clamoring for separation from Virginia 
and was conceiving the idea of an independent 
Statehood that would make it free to join in such 
league, confederation or union as its people who had 
won it from the wilderness might will; that Ten- 
nessee had already given expression to this spirit 
of independence by constituting itself into the 
short-lived State of Franklin, and, finally, that their 
material interests, to better which these pioneers 
had come to the wilderness, were of such paramount 
importance that actions designed to conserve and 
promote these interests, but apparently subversive 
of existing fealty to the weak and distant govern- 
ment of the Confederation, could not in that day 
be subjected to criticism, where in this day of our 
developed nationalism, disapproval would be pro- 
nounced. One's actions can be condemned, one's 
culpability be fixed only by standards prevailing 
at the time. Loyalty to something that does not 
exist at one time should not be judged by the loy- 
alty due when the something comes into existence. 



VV/HEN the irritation of the Kentuckians over 
^^ the closure of the Mississippi River to navi- 
gation was at its height, a challenge was flung to 
the Spaniards of the lower Valley, which, although 
declined, was of far reaching effect in the after his- 
tory of the challenger and of the section in whose 
behalf the gauntlet was thrown down. 

General James Wilkinson, a commanding figure 
on the Western stage of that time, had moved to 
Kentucky in 1784 and opened a mercantile busi- 
ness in Lexington. He was a veteran of the war of 
the American Revolution, having enlisted as a 
private at eighteen, and attained the rank of Briga- 
dier-General by the time he was twenty. Through- 
out his long career, he seems to have been one of 
the greatest enemy -makers in public life. These 
enemies have put on record much to his detriment, 
while among his friends there seems to have been 
few to take up the cudgels in his defense to such a 
degree of effectiveness as to offset the recorded 
opinions of those to whom his existence seems to 
have been an offense. It should be said in justice 


^ ^tormp ^Petrel of Mtntttn ILitt 171 

to him, that notwithstanding every charge and ac- 
cusation brought against him during his Hfetime, 
he seems to have retained the confidence of such 
men in public Hfe as Washington, Hamilton, Jeffer- 
son, Adams and others, fair judges of capacity 
and fitness. Upon three occasions he was tried by 
court-of -inquiry or court-martial at his own insist- 
ence. In each case, accusation seems to have 
turned into commendation, as voiced by the 

Perhaps no personality of his prominence in Amer- 
ican history has come in for greater condemnation 
at the hands of certain historians. The smoke of 
the courts-martial in which he figured has appar- 
ently been ascribed to smoldering fires of guilt 
rather than, as claimed by his friends, those of 
hatred. The number of charges and indictments 
from which he was exonerated evidently have been 
assumed to comprise some that should have held. 
There is no question in the minds of those who 
have given the matter thorough, rather than su- 
perficial or say-so, consideration that his utterances 
and actions while a private citizen have been given 
a perspective false enough to confuse it with that 
of his military career, and that those who have 
condemned him most severely have failed to judge 
him fairly by the standards of his time and circum- 
stances, but have taken those of a later day as 
their measuring rule. 

There is no doubt that he was dominant, iras- 
cible and at times overbearingly inconsiderate of 

172 ^allep Bominancp of tfje Bonsf 

those who held to opinions different from his. Toes 
in his way were stamped on ; opposition met at his 
hands smashing instead of tactful overcoming. 
Those who hold against him cannot but concede, 
however, that he played a conspicuous part in the 
development of the earlier West, to the advantage 
of his fellow Westerners, however much they may 
condemn the methods he employed. It must be 
acknowledged to his credit that he is the only 
Commander-in-Chief who at any time in our history 
led the armies of the United States, from one end 
of its frontier to the other — from Canada to the 
Sabine line. He supplied Jefferson with maps and 
information of the great trans-Mississippi West ac- 
quired by the Louisiana purchase, which proved 
indispensable in winning public approval of Jeffer- 
son's overriding of the Constitution in making the 
purchase. He was the military representative to 
receive Louisiana in the ceremony of transfer from 
France to the United States, and was the first 
governor of the District of Louisiana after the 
territory of Orleans had been subtracted from its 
original domain. He was the inspirer of Long and 
Pike in their exploring expeditions to make the 
farther West known. He aborted the Burr con- 
spiracy and thereby drew to himself the vitu- 
perations and the hatreds of the many powerful 
political friends and ardent admirers of that arch 

He is not to be condemned too severely for his 
Canadian campaign in the War of 1812, for the 

^ ^tormp Petrel of Mtatttn ILitt 173 

dogs of unpreparedness, of insubordination of inferi- 
ors, of vacillation of superiors, and of helplessness 
of untrained militia could have pulled down a far 
greater lion of a leader than he. His services at 
Saratoga, specially commended to Congress by 
General Gates; his courage in retrieving the dis- 
grace of Harmar's defeat at the hands of the In- 
dians of the Northwest; his boldness in matching 
double dealing with double dealing in keeping the 
Spaniards of the Southwest in place and awing them 
into a hesitancy to precipitate hostilities, are all 
to his credit. In his old age and after retirement 
from the army, he listened to the call of Texas for 
independence, his only rewards in the end, an ob- 
scure burial spot in the Baptist Cemetery in the 
City of Mexico and a venomed page in the book of 
his country's history, as recorded by certain emi- 
nent historians, when, with the tolerance that 
comes with time and broader understanding, his 
record might have been more kindly entered.'^ 

Wilkinson was prominent in the movement to 
secure Statehood for Kentucky. It would appear 
from his contemporaries that he was a man of com- 
manding eloquence as well as of considerable liter- 
ary skill. Such a man could not but take a lead- 
ing part in public affairs wherever he might find 
himself. At the second convention in 1785, called 
together to win Statehood for Kentucky, he pre- 

' Publications of the Louisiana Historical Society treat the career of 
Wilkinson from the beginning to end in a manner most thorough and cal- 
culated to bring about a revision of judgment pronounced upon him 
by influential contributors to American history. 

174 "^allep Bominancp of tfje Bong 

pared the memorial to the Virginia Legislature and 
the address to the people of the Kentucky District, 
both of which sounded a clarion call for Kentucky's 
independence. In the Convention assembled in 
the early part of 1787, he denounced in fiery terms 
the proposed Jay treaty which was to close the 
Mississippi to Westerners for twenty-five years. 
He openly advocated Kentucky's complete inde- 
pendence and the entering into an agreement with 
Spain, or, failing which, such an alliance with Eng- 
land as would maintain Kentucky's natural rights 
against Spain's arbitrary rulings, — all of which the 
Convention wildly applauded, voting the thanks of 
the Convention to him for so eloquently presenting 
Kentucky's public opinion as to her needs and 

Wilkinson's real object seemed to be not so much 
to sever Kentucky from the Union as to bring 
forceably to the attention of the East the possible 
loss of this magnificent Western domain, unless 
greater consideration to its interests be given. It 
should be remembered that he was a private citi- 
zen at the time, that his future seemed to lie in the 
prosperity of the region to which he had pioneered 
and that the general government's claim upon the 
allegiance of the Westerners was not one tenth as 
strong in those days as was that of the United States, 
years after, upon the citizens of the Southern 
States, who, notwithstanding this claim, seceded 
under a strong conviction of rightly acting. Says 
Butler in his history of Kentucky (page 173), *'To 

la ^tonn|> petrel of Mt^ttvn ILitt 175 

try the conduct of the Kentucky statesmen in 1788 
under a Confederation in ruins and factions, by the 
same principle which should now direct the mind 
under efficient and beneficent government, would 
be absurd and unjust." 

Shaler, a more modern chronicler, declares, "The 
separatist movement of 1784-1790 was for separa- 
tion from a government that hardly existed and 
against which many valid objections could be urged. 
Such a separation would have violated no pledge 

Even after the stronger Federal Union was 
formed and the administration of the second Presi- 
dent of the United States was under way, the ties 
binding the West to the general government were 
of the feeblest. Says Parton, "The reader must 
be reminded that during the administration of John 
Adams, the Union to the backwoodsman had not 
the sacred claim it has since possessed. The noise 
of party contention filled the land. The Union 
seemed to hang together by a thread which any 
moment might break." 

As no greater service could be rendered the sec- 
tion in which he had made his home than to open 
up the Mississippi to the free use of the Western 
settlers, Wilkinson proceeded single-handed to its 
accomplishment. In the spring of 1787, while the 
feeling between Kentucky and the Spanish au- 
thorities of lower Louisiana was at its height, he 
loaded a flatboat with tobacco, hams, butter and 
flour, contributed by his neighbors, and set out 

176 "^allep Bominancp of tfje Bonjf 

fearlessly on the perilous fourteen-hundred-mile 
voyage down the Ohio and Mississippi to New 

In making a trip for any distance on the Western 
rivers at that particular time, it was customary to 
lash three flat-boats abreast, the central one for 
crew and cargo, the outer two for bulwarks of de- 
fense against hostile Indians. Wilkinson ignored 
these precautions and set out in a single craft, 
made the voyage without mishap, passed Natchez 
unchallenged and arrived at New Orleans, where 
his boat and cargo were promptly seized by the 
Spanish revenue ofiicers. 

But the Spanish authorities soon began to ex- 
perience misgivings over their action. Here was 
no ordinary uninfluential backwoods farmer tim- 
idly seeking a market for his produce, no uncouth, 
half -horse -and -half -alligator flatboatman on a 
speculative venture, to be summarily dealt with 
without fear of consequence, but a commanding 
figure in American affairs of that time, a leader of 
the Kentucky frontiersmen whose fierceness and 
aggressiveness had been wildly munchausened, — 
"men who swore and spat mightily, drank deep 
and shot straight." Beware, Miro, lest the sending 
of this boat and cargo from far-off Kentucky be 
but a ruse, its seizure a desired excuse for a war- 
like swoop down upon you of these Kentuckians, 
and the Province over which you rule in too 
weak and unprepared a condition to withstand 

^ i^ioxmp petrel of Mtittvn Hife 177 

Governor Miro deemed it wise to order the re- 
lease of the boat and permit its cargo to be dis- 
posed of to advantage, all of which was viewed with 
apparently utter unconcern by Wilkinson, who 
suavely begged Miro not to incur the displeasure 
of his Excellency's home government by refrain- 
ing from confiscating the boat and cargo, if the 
law so ordered, — a request that increased Miro's 
trepidation and convinced him all the more of the 
danger that threatened. He immediately sought 
a friendly interview with Wilkinson, during which 
he promised to exert himself in securing the re- 
moval of the restrictions upon the river trade and 
sought in every way to learn the nature and in- 
tentions of the Kentuckians. He was not reas- 
sured by the information received, for while he 
learned that Kentucky was on the eve of seceding 
from the Confederation, he was informed of the 
strong sentiment there prevailing to combine with 
England against Spain as a means of securing the 
free navigation of the Mississippi. Miro was so 
impressed that he deemed it wise to interpose 
thenceforth no serious obstacles to trade, favoring, 
however, certain persons and traders of influence 
in the matter, until such time as his home govern- 
ment and its Minister at Philadelphia took him to 
task for displaying such leniency in extending the 
exemptions he did. 

Wilkinson's next trade venture was a cargo of 
tobacco, which, upon arrival at New Orleans, was 
appropriated — not seized — by the Spanish au- 

178 ^allep Bominancp of tfje Bonsi 

thorities, as a monopoly of the tobacco trade was 
a prerogative of the Spanish Crown. Its value 
was fixed at $17,874. When, as has been claimed, 
after several years' delay a large part of this debt 
was paid to Wilkinson in person and before wit- 
nesses by a representative of the Spanish Govern- 
ment, it gave the enemies of Wilkinson, who had 
meanwhile become an officer in the United States 
army, an opportunity to distort the circumstance 
into an accusation of bribe-receiving, which 
charge, upon a careful review of the evidence pre- 
sented and the success with which the credibility of 
the witness has been disproved, must be set 

This tobacco transaction was Wilkinson's last 
trade venture. His whole capital had been em- 
barked in it. Delay in settlement for it embar- 
rassed him financially. He went out of the 
mercantile business, and was free to undertake 
employment of another kind. The Indians of the 
Northwest had been giving the frontier settlements 
much trouble. The military forces of the United 
States had been meeting with little success against 
them. Wilkinson led a punitive expedition of 
Kentucky rangers into the Indian country and 
brilliantly regained for the Americans a large part 
of the prestige lost through Harmar's defeat. For 
this he was especially complimented by Washing- 
ton, who appointed him a Colonel in the regular 
army, from which he soon arose to Commander-in- 
Chief. His career as a private citizen of Kentucky 

^ ^tormp petrel of Mtsttm ILiit 179 

was thus ended, and his military career was thus 
begun anew. But to the end, his destiny con- 
tinued to be inextricably interwoven with that of 
the progressing Western frontier. 



N TOTE has been made of the disposition of the 
^ ^ Spanish authorities of upper Louisiana to en- 
courage immigration from east of the Mississippi 
River. This disposition for a time existed in lower 
Louisiana but was very much weakened by Miro's 
acquired fear of having turbulent Kentuckians to 
deal with, should immigration from that section to 
the Southwest take place in large numbers. Gar- 
doqui, Spain's representative at the national capi- 
tal, however, was heartily in favor of it, offering 
land grant inducements of every kind, believing 
that if the population of West Florida and upper 
Louisiana could be made homogeneous with that 
of the settled sections of Kentucky and Tennessee, 
it would facilitate Spanish acquirement of these 
last. In pursuance of this policy George Morgan, 
as has been stated, received his New Madrid grant; 
Colonel Bruin of the Virginia Continental line, 
through the good offices of General Washington, 
secured a fine tract of land on Bayou Pierre sixty 
miles above Natchez; Ezekiel Forman of Freehold, 
N. J., with sixty slaves moved to Natchez and set- 


tKlje OTaninjj of Spain's? ^ofcoer i8i 

tied on St. Catherine's Creek nearby. Bernard 
Lintot of Vermont and families by the name of 
Ellis, Moore and Hutchins were prominent in the 
section about Natchez, when Forman and his party 
arrived. Stephen Minor from Princeton, N. J., 
was high in the good graces of the Spaniards, rising 
to the rank of "Fort Major" under Commandant 
Gayoso of the Natchez District and afterwards to 
that of Commandant when Gayoso was promoted 
to be Governor of the whole Louisiana Province. 
The movement of the settlers into West Florida at 
this time was from the Northeast to the South- 
west. Georgia, South Carolina and North Caro- 
lina were as yet scarcely represented as Cherokee 
and Creek still barred the way to any movement 
due west from these States across Georgia and 

Dreams of the acquirement of the whole eastern 
portion of the Mississippi Valley began to fade 
from the Spanish mind when the newly formed 
government of the United States under its first 
President, Washington, was launched. This gov- 
ernment was vested with a power to act such as had 
never been possessed by the government of the 
Confederation, and its chief executive could bring 
this power into play more promptly and effectively 
than could the previous government, which con- 
sisted of a Congress only. 

Morover, its chief executive was of forceful per- 
sonality, whose military and public career com- 
manded the utmost respect, West as well as East, 

1 82 ^allep ^ominanty of tfje Bans; 

abroad as well as at home. Then, Kentucky was 
admitted as a State shortly after the new Union 
was formed, which removed for a time much of the 
unrest of that section. Tennessee's admission soon 
followed. No wiles of diplomacy could now lure 
these Western areas from the Union, no intrigue 
could be attempted without serious complications 
arising with this new power among nations. Indeed 
from supposing it possible to gain new territory in 
the Valley, Spain found herself confronted with a 
possibility of losing territory already possessed. 

In adding the territory between the 31st parallel 
and the line of the mouth of the Yazoo River to 
West Florida, England had violated Georgia's 
charter rights to this region. With the passing of 
West Florida to Spain, Georgia proceeded to re- 
claim these rights. In theory the added portion 
had been only temporarily joined purely as a matter 
of administrational convenience. According to the 
Georgia interpretation, the northern boundary of 
the Floridas had really never extended farther 
north than latitude 31. The Natchez section 
therefore belonged to Georgia and a representation 
to this effect was made to Governor Miro by com- 
missioners appointed for the purpose. Governor 
Miro peremptorily declined to concede that Georgia 
had any claim whatever to the territory. Not- 
withstanding which fact, Georgia did not hesitate 
to grant vast tracts of land fronting on the Missis- 
sippi, from Natchez northward, to various com- 

tE'fit Mmin^ of Spain's; ^otoer 183 

One of these was composed of leading citizens of 
Charleston, including Generals Moultrie and Huger 
of Revolutionary War fame, Major Sipes and 
others. Another in Virginia included among its 
stockholders Patrick Henry. In after years the 
"Yazoo Claims" were to be brought before Con- 
gress, furnishing juicy morsels to be cuddily chewed 
over by political scandalmongers. 

Finally the United States took up the diplomatic 
negotiations to establish the boundary line between 
Spanish and American possessions, maintaining 
the 31st parallel to be the proper one. Negotia- 
tions went on without concession on either side 
until 1794, when Spain, finding herself involved in 
difficulties with France and England, decided that 
peace had better be made with Americans across 
the sea to obviate any additional disturbing com- 

Humiliating and delaying tactics to which 
Thomas Pinckney, the United States envoy to the 
Court of Madrid, had for some time been subjected 
ceased suddenly upon his peremptory demand for 
his passports. In three days the matter was settled 
and a treaty drawn up. The 31st parallel was ac- 
cepted as the boundary line to be officially run by 
a joint commission of surveyors. The right to de- 
posit and store merchandise and produce at New 
Orleans subject to trans-shipment, either seaward 
or interiorward, was conceded to the Americans 
for a period of three years subject to renewal. 

Subsequent developments make it clear that 

184 '^aUej> 3iommancj> of tfje ^ona 

Spain's concessions were simply to tide her over a 
temporary emergency and were not to be lived up 
to, should she find herself in position to set them 
aside. But let due note be taken that the year 
1783, when the war of the American Revolution 
ended, marks the zenith of Spanish power in Amer- 
ica. And the year 1795, when she made her first 
surrender of territory to the new American Repub- 
lic, marks the first step of her decline. The year 
1800 witnessed her loss of Louisiana, to which 
consideration will be given elsewhere. In 1808 be- 
gan the long series of revolts which freed South 
and Central America from the Spanish yoke. In 
1810 West Florida was lost to her by revolution 
and annexation to the United States; in 1819 East 
Florida by treaty and purchase. In 1821 Mexico, 
with its dependencies of Texas, Arizona, New 
Mexico and Southern California won its freedom. 
Finally, in 1898-99 Cuba and Porto Rico were 
wrested from her by the United States, leaving 
her not one foot of soil on the western hemisphere, 
where once she was supreme. 


The Passing of a Province 




T^HOUGH the loss of the province of Louisiana 
"*• never ceased to rankle in the bosoms of 
French statesmen, no expectation of recovering 
colonial possessions in North America seems to 
have directed their policy in aiding the American 
Revolutionists. The plan of rebuilding a colonial 
empire in the New World was born in the brain 
of Napoleon Bonaparte or of his secretary, Talley- 
rand, toward the close of the century. It was a 
policy fraught with grave dangers to the young 
republic across the sea. 

Napoleon determined to bring pressure to bear 
on Spain to return Louisiana. The victor of 
Marengo was too powerful an individual to be 
gainsaid in any of his desires by so feeble a nation 
as Spain, which, by this time, had come to be more 
and more dependent upon France. Yet, inspired 
by his Prime Minister, Godoy, — a minister who 
in the end resigned rather than be a party to a sur- 
render of territory so humiliating to his country, — 
the King manifested the greatest reluctance in ac- 
ceding to the giving up of his Louisiana possessions. 


1 88 tKfje ^ajfsimfl of a $rotjmce 

The inducement of providing a new, made-to-order 
kingdom in Tuscany for the Duke of Parma, hus- 
band of the Spanish Infanta, was, however, a very 
tempting one. As an influencing force it so nearly 
equaled his desire to retain Louisiana that action 
became vacillating and decision doubtful. Three 
treaty negotiations were required before the King's 
signature was secured. The first was by Berth- 
ier, October 1, 1800; the second by Lucien Bona- 
parte, brother of Napoleon, March 21, 1801, 
and the third by Gouvion St. Cyr, October 15, 
1802. As the second and third were confirma- 
tory of the first treaty, the one finally signed 
on the last date is assumed to bear the date of 
its first drawing up. The result of these three 
negotiations is known as the secret treaty of San 

However politely and affectionately worded was 
the language of diplomacy employed by the two 
governments upon the occasion of this treaty, his- 
torians recognize the fact that the transaction was 
purely and simply a case of "stand and deliver" 
on one side and reluctant yielding upon the other. 
True, two concessions were made the reluctant 
party to give verisimilitude to the theory that value 
was being exchanged for a consideration, or, as the 
saying goes, "to save the face" of the held-up 
monarch. First, Napoleon pledged that a king- 
dom to be known as Etruria, with a population of 
not less than one million, would be created out of 
French conquests in Northern Italy. The Duke 

^ ^aton anb Jfour jpiapetj; 189 

of Parma was to be installed as king, and he was 
to be so recognized, through France's power and 
influence, by Austria, England and the Duke of 
Tuscany, whose territory was to be included in the 
new kingdom. The second was that France was 
never to part with this gift extorted from Spain 
except to return it to the donor, "in case the King 
of Tuscany should lose the whole or the greater 
part of his estates." 

Neither one of these considerations, whose ren- 
dering could not but be necessary to complete 
a legal contract, was, in fact, given. France did 
not create a kingdom for the Duke of Parma; she 
did alienate Louisiana, yielding it up to a power 
other than Spain. So far as complying with its 
terms, the Treaty of San Ildefonso was a mere 
scrap of paper to Europe's war-lord of that day. 
The title to Louisiana acquired from France by the 
United States had its source in this treaty. One 
is therefore unavoidably driven to the conclusion 
that the United States acquired a clouded title 
in purchasing Louisiana, to which consideration 
will subsequently be given. No physical sanction 
would have been accorded it, had there been a 
common superior authority to enforce equity 
among nations ; no moral sanction which the funda- 
mental principle of Right alone confers, can be 
extended to it. That the American title to the west- 
ern half of the Mississippi Valley is now clear is 
due to the fact that Spain at the time of the pur- 
chase was too weak to back up her vigorous protests 

1 90 W'i)t ^asffifing of a ^rotJinte 

by force of arms. The apparent acquiescence of 
the other nations, except for sundry diplomatic 
questionings, was due to the absorbing attention 
— both mihtary and diplomatic — they were com- 
pelled to give to affairs nearer at home. Undis- 
turbed possession of the acquired region has been 
sufficiently long to quiet title, for it would seem 
that some unwritten international statute of limi- 
tations is tacitly recognized, under which strong 
nations hold that which they may have originally, 
however illegally, acquired. 

Even before the final ratification of the Treaty 
of San Ildefonso, Napoleon began preparations to 
take nossession of Spanish Louisiana. "Present 
me, " he wrote Decres, Minister of Marine, "apian 
for organizing the colony, both civil and military; 
for works, fortifications, etc. Make a map of the 
coast from St. Augustine to Mexico and a geo- 
graphical description of the different cantons, with 
population and resources of each." He assembled 
at Dunkirk an expeditionary force formidable 
enough to be officered by one general of division 
and three brigade commanders. Bernadotte, one 
of the few men of that day whom Napoleon could 
not awe and dominate, who was to win distinction 
at Austerlitz and who was yet to wear Sweden's 
crown, was Napoleon's first selection as commander 
of the expedition, to remove from the field of Europe 
a possible and dangerous rival, as it was currently 
thought. But Bernadotte was wily enough to de- 
cline the responsibility in such a way as to avoid 

$afcon anb Jfour jpiapersi 191 

any charge of insubordination; whereupon General 
Victor was selected. 

Meanwhile, France's colony of Santo Domingo, 
five sixths of whose population of 600,000 were 
African slaves, had caught the spirit of the French 
Revolution. The blacks rose against their masters, 
drove the whites from the island under circum- 
stances of great atrocity, proclaimed freedom and 
set up a government of their own. The leader of 
the revolt was Toussaint L'Ouverture, probably 
the most capable and famous military leader and 
statesman the African race has ever produced. 

As the island was a necessary relay station in 
the passage of French troops to Louisiana, it had 
to be brought back to French control before the 
expedition to Louisiana could be undertaken. 
"Rid us of this gilded African," wrote Napoleon 
to General Leclerc, who set out to the conquest of 
Santo Domingo, "and we shall have nothing more 
to desire." But though Leclerc made a success- 
ful landing, administered a seemingly crushing de- 
feat and sent L'Ouverture a prisoner to France, 
the blacks, threatened as they were with a return 
to slavery, resorted to a desperate and protracted 
guerilla warfare, during which yellow fever ap- 
peared as a powerful ally. The French troops 
were actually, as well as figuratively, decimated 
and further effort to hold the island was made im- 

This Santo Domingo episode is here noted for 
its significant bearing upon the history of the Mis- 

192 Wi^t $as(s(tng of a ^robince 

sissippi Valley. The revolt retarded, for the time 
being, Napoleon's plans to invade and occupy 
Louisiana. The Valley thus escaped by a hair, as 
it were, a return to French domination, — a domi- 
nation which, had it been firmly established at that 
time with a formidable military in control, might 
not have been as easily dislodged as had been that 
of Spain. 

Morever, many of the whites of the island, com- 
pelled to flee in terror from the savagery and horror 
of revolt, took refuge in Louisiana with such ser- 
vants as remained faithful and such part of their 
wealth as they had been able to save out of the 
general wreckage. Thus was added another ele- 
ment to the already heterogeneous population of 
the lower Valley. It is claimed that Chicago is in- 
debted to Santo Domingo for the first settler upon 
the site of that city, in the person of Jean Baptist 
Point de Saible (or au Sable), who, in 1777, built 
on the banks of the Chicago river, near its mouth, 
a house of square logs, which he occupied until 

Before further steps could be taken to clear up 
the Santo Domingo muddle. Napoleon found him- 
self confronting a war with England. His oppor- 
tunity to take by occupation what he had extorted 
by treaty had come and gone. What a chance 
it would have given England to lodge herself in 
the very heart of the American continent, had 
the treaty of San Ildefonso been oflScially pro- 
mulgated and French occupancy of Spanish 

^ ^afcon anb Jfour diapers; 193 

Louisiana become an accomplished fact before the 
arrival of that titanic struggle which was in time 
to lead Napoleon to Elba and then to Waterloo. 
England's naval power, then as now, was supreme 
— conceded so by Napoleon himself — and in the 
face of war, no colonial possession of France in 
America could have been retained without supre- 
macy on sea. 

Napoleon was wise enough to see this and with 
lightning-like decision determined to forestall the 
possible loss of Louisiana. "I will sell Louisiana 
to the Americans," he thought. "I will thereby 
make of them my friends. I will put them in po- 
sition to develop such strength and power as will 
enable them in time to humble my enemy, Eng- 
land, to the dust. I will get money from the deal 
to put into my war chest." 

He announced his intention privately to his 
brothers, Lucien and Joseph. They were as- 
tounded and at once interposed strenuous, almost 
violent opposition. Lucien felt that he had been 
largely instrumental in winning Louisiana to 
France through his part in the San Ildefonso 
treaty and thereby wiping out the stain of its origi- 
nal loss. He was loath to see his achievement thus 
summarily discounted. Joseph, who was still 
strongly republican at heart and did not always 
chime in with the imperialistic views of his Consul- 
brother, set up the objection that the Chambers 
of Deputies alone had the power to alienate French 
territory and not the first Consul. Lucien also 

194 ^tc ^asfjsing of a JProbime 

held that the Constitution did not confer this 
power on the first Consul. "The Chambers ! The 
Constitution!" exclaimed Napoleon. "Parbleu! 
What is the Constitution to me.'* I will act inde- 
pendently of it." He did so. When he took from 
the representatives of his people their right of emi- 
nent domain, when he arrogated to himself the 
privilege of altering at will the map of his country's 
possessions, he vested in himself for the first time 
Sovereign Authority and he there made the crossing 
of his Rubicon on his way to that supreme dicta- 
torship, which, as Emperor, he was afterwards to 

Meanwhile, the subject of the free use of the 
Mississippi and the right of trans-shipment at New 
Orleans had irritatingly arisen again. During the 
three years' concession following the treaty of 
1795, the development of the West had received 
a tremendous impetus. The flatboat trade with 
the lower Valley had enormously increased. The 
United States had been under the necessity of ap- 
pointing a consul at New Orleans to look after the 
interests of the Western shippers. The Americans 
had every reason to expect that the concession 
would be promptly renewed at the expiration of 
the time limit. To their astonishment, Don Juan 
Ventura Morales, the Spanish Intendent, suddenly 
issued an order, on October 16, 1802, suspending 
the right of deposit. He named no substitute port, 
which he was to do according to the terms of the 

^ ^aton anb Jfour ^laperss 195 

The West at that time was of a different temper 
from the West of a few years previous, when Wil- 
kinson had made his first venturesome voyage 
down stream and succeeded on his own account in 
opening the Mississippi to navigation. It had in- 
creased in population, power and assert iveness. 
Kentucky and Tennessee were now States; Ohio 
about to become so. The United States was to be 
reckoned with in all matters bearing upon the wel- 
fare of its Western members. Such a storm of protest, 
both popular and diplomatic, arose that Governor 
Salcedo and Spanish Minister Yrujo felt it incum- 
bent upon themselves to disclaim the act of Morales 
and, apparently, to endeavor to have it rescinded. 

Under the Spanish policy as explained previously, 
the Intendent of the colony was independent of the 
authority of the Governor in matters connected 
with revenues, trade, port regulations, etc. Morales 
"stood pat," asserting that the King and the King 
alone was the only one to whom he could look 
to for direction in such matters. The months 
dragged on; irritation over the situation reached 
fever heat. The Kentuckians proposed to cut the 
Gordian knot by marching upon New Orleans and 
wresting by force the rights which ofl5cial stub- 
bornness was denying them. The President felt 
it necessary to station three regiments of troops 
on the Ohio as a precautionary measure against 
a clash that might lead to international complica- 
tions. Uncertainty as to the future of the West 
marked the close of the century. 



yHROUGHOUT the early years of the Republic 
■^ the ganie of diplomacy had to be skillfully 
played lest that part of the Mississippi Valley al- 
ready won be lost to its winners as well as to the 
American people as a whole. England, as a neigh- 
bor of the cis-Mississippi region, on the north; 
Spain a close neighbor on the west and south; 
France with a reawakened desire to regain her col- 
lonial empire in America all watchfully waited for 
either provocation or favoring opportunity to win 
that for which they had long hungered. To act 
against New Orleans might mean retaliatory in- 
vasion, or a combined flight of European eagles 
swooping down upon American territorial prey. 

The United States was as yet a weakling among 
nations. Its best defense of the West was in the 
fighting spirit of the Westerners, every man of 
whom could make of himself a brick in the battle- 
ments opposing armed invasion. It was well, 
therefore, to increase the number of these West- 
erners, though none of the early Presidents really 
favored Western migration, for the reason that it 


^n imperialififtic ^urcfiasie 197 

further attenuated the already sparse population 
east of the Alleghanies. But all realized that 
everyone who went ''out West" imbibed in time 
the spirit of the older holders of the soil and aided 
by numbers in strengthening every Western line of 
defense. Prosperity, therefore, must continue to 
dwell where the free navigation of the Mississippi 
first induced her to take up her abode. In the 
matter of commercial needs, the West, like Youth, 
must be served. 

Thus it was the United States, in conformity 
with its leading purpose "to promote the general 
welfare" found it incumbent upon itself to secure 
a commercial depot-site near the mouth of the 
Mississippi River. Either the island of New Or- 
leans or the narrow stretch of West Florida would 
answer the purpose. At no time was it the intent 
or desire of the United States to acquire territory 
west of the river. It was, however, desirable to 
acquire both West Florida and New Orleans, for 
that would give to American ownership the entire 
right bank of the Mississippi an admirable and 
definite boundary line, and to the commerce of the 
West, unhampered egress to the sea. The ac- 
quirement of East Florida was also an acceptable 
idea because of the several rivers, which, rising in 
the United States, flowed through that region to 
the Gulf. The free navigation of these streams 
might have to be contended for in the future, 
should foreign ownership continue. But New Or- 
leans was the depot site most strongly desired. Its 

198 Wi)t $as;simg of a $robmce 

relative value was appraised by Secretary of State 
Madison as four times that of West and East Flor- 
ida combined. West Florida, though of insignifi- 
cant extent compared with East Florida, was held 
to be twice the value of the latter, presumably be- 
cause of its frontage on the Mississippi and the 
eligibility of its settlement of Baton Rouge, now 
the capital of the State of Louisiana, for a depot 
site in the event that New Orleans could not be 

So the American Minister to France, Robert R. 
Livingston, was commissioned to move in the mat- 
ter of purchasing New Orleans and the Floridas. 
For a protracted period, Livingston was at sea as 
to whom to apply. His correspondence shows 
that, at first, he was not sure that Louisiana, includ- 
ing New Orleans, had been ceded by Spain, the 
French Minister withholding from him all official 
information upon the subject. When the secret 
of the San Ildefonso treaty could no longer be kept 
inviolate, he could not ascertain whether or not 
West Florida was included in the cession, and, in 
consequence, did not know whether his offer to 
buy that province should be made to France or 

This period of doubt continued for more than 
two years. Meanwhile, Livingston busied himself 
with the preparation of a memoir setting forth 
reasons why France should not possess herself of 
Louisiana, because of the enmities and complica- 
tions that were sure to follow. Time dragged on. 

^n Smperialisitic J^rcfiasfe 199 

The Westerners were becoming restless almost to 
the point of turbulency and were showing them- 
selves disposed to be more resentful of the acquire- 
ment of Louisiana by France than they had been 
over its possession by Spain. The Presidential 
election was approaching in which the West could 
give concrete expression to its discontent. Some- 
thing had to be done. 

The turbulence of the West, the growing opposi- 
tion in Congress and the aggressive spirit of State 
legislatures forced Jefferson's hand. On January 
11, 1803, he sent to the Senate the name of James 
Monroe, Governor of Virginia, as Minister Extra- 
ordinary, to aid Livingston in "enlarging and more 
effectually securing our rights and interests in the 
river Mississippi and in the territories eastward 

Monroe's instructions were to purchase, if pos- 
sible, New Orleans and the Floridas, at a price not 
to exceed $10,000,000. Failing in this or in the 
securing of any kind of a desirable site near the 
Mississippi's mouth, or on the rivers flowing 
through the Floridas, the old right of deposit on 
the Mississippi was to be secured and enlarged, 
and similar privileges on the rivers of the Floridas 
secured. His arrival was opportune, for Napoleon 
had just reached his decision to sell all of Louisi- 
ana to the Americans. An intimation of the pos- 
sibility of such a sale had already been made to 
Livingston and been received with incredulity, 
although he set forth to Tallyerand, the French 

200 tlTfie $a£;siins of a ^robince 

Minister, who conveyed the intimation, that 
United States ownership of the west bank of the 
Mississippi above the mouth of the Arkansas 
would be of advantage to France as interposing a 
complete buffer between her lower Valley posses- 
sions and the English of Canada. 

Only two days before Monroe's arrival in Paris, 
Napoleon had held a council with his Ministers, 
Marbois and Decres, which was hardly more than 
an opportunity to declare his will in the matter. 
He spoke to them with vehemence and passion.^ 

"I know the worth of Louisiana and I have wished to repair 
the error of the French negotiator who abandoned it in 
1762," said he. "I have recovered it on paper through 
some lines in a treaty; but I have hardly done so when I am 
about to lose it again. But if it escapes me, it will cost those 
who force me to give it up, more dearly than the cost to 
those to whom I will surrender it. The English have 
successively taken from France, Canada, the Isle Royal, 
Newfoundland and the richest territories of Asia. They are 
intriguing and disturbing in San Domingo. They shall not 
have the Mississippi which they covet. Louisiana is 
nothing in comparison with their aggrandizement in all 
parts of the globe; but the jealousy they feel because of its 
return under the dominion of France warns me that they 
intend to seize it and thus they will begin war. They have 
already twenty vessels in the Gulf of Mexico. They swag- 
ger over those seas as sovereigns; and in San Domingo, 
since the death of Leclerc, our affairs are going from bad to 
worse. The conquest of Louisiana will be easy if they will 
only take the trouble to descend upon it. I have not a 
moment to lose in putting it out of their power. I wish to 
take away from them the idea that they will ever be able to 
' See Marbois's History of Louisiana, p. 263. 

0n Smperialigtic $urcfiasfe 201 

own this colony. I contemplate turning it over to the 
United States. I should hardly be able to say that I had 
ceded it to them, for we are not in possession of it. But 
even a short delay may leave me nothing but a vain title 
to transmit to these Republicans, whose friendship I seek. 
They are asking me but a single city of Louisiana, but I 
already regard the whole colony as lost, and it seems to me 
that in the hands of this rising power it will be more useful 
to the politics and even to the commerce of France than if 
I attempt to keep it." 

These words of Napoleon revealed the necessity 
for prompt action. There was no time to refer the 
matter to the Government of the United States, 
to obtain of Spain the annulment of the clause of 
the San Ildefonso treaty, which covered non- 
alienation, even to ascertain the wishes of the 
Louisianians themselves in regard to a change of 
citizenship. To the credit of our envoys, decision 
to exceed their authority and make the purchase 
was promptly arrived at, queening by their action- 
move the Louisiana pawn that European powers 
had so long been playing over the world's terri- 
torial chessboard. 

France owed "Spoliation Claims" to the United 
States for destruction of commerce in the recent 
war between France and England, — for neutral 
commerce suffered when ground between the mill- 
stones of war in those days as it has repeatedly 
done since at the hands of belligerents. So while 
the price agreed upon exceeded by some five mil- 
lion dollars the amount Monroe had been autho- 
rized to offer for New Orleans and West Florida, 

202 Wbt ^asiffins of a Jlrobime 

yet the deduction of these claims, made part of 
the agreement, offset in a large part the extra 
amount of purchase price called for, which was 
80,000,000 francs,— approximately $15,000,000. 

The moment of signing the treaty by which the 
United States acquired Louisiana was a very 
solemn one to all the parties to the agreement. As 
the commissioners shook hands, Livingston, as re- 
corded by Marbois in his excellent History of 
Louisiana, said^ : 

"The treaty which we have just signed has not been 
accomplished by finesse or determined by force. Equally 
advantageous to both contracting parties, it will change 
vast solitudes into a flourishing country. To-day the 
United States take their place among the powers of the 
first rank. Moreover, France will have in the new world a 
friend increasing in power year by year, which cannot fail to 
become puissant and respected on all the seas of the earth. 
The instrument we have signed will cause no tears to flow. 
It will prepare centuries of happiness for innumerable 
generations of the human race. The Mississippi and the 
Missouri will see them prosper and increase in the midst 
of equality under just laws, free from the errors of super- 
stition, from the scourge of bad government, and truly 
worthy of the regard of Providence." 

It was Napoleon's desire, and the treaty so stipu- 
lated, that the Louisianians be immediately incor- 
porated into the Union and all the rights of Amer- 
ican citizenship be at once accorded them. *'Let 
Louisianians know," said he, "that we separate 
ourselves from them with regret; that we stipulate 

* Marbois, p. 310. 

0n Smperialisftic ^urcfjajfe 203 

everything they can desire ; and let them hereafter, 
happy in their independence, recollect that they 
have been Frenchmen, and that France, in ceding 
them, has secured for them advantages which no 
European power, however paternal, could have af- 
forded. Let them retain love for us; and may our 
common origin, language and customs perpetuate 
this love." 

Did this message from heart to hearts reach 
across the sea and find response .^^ Apparently it 
did. More than one hundred years have elapsed 
since it was voiced. There are still dwellers in the 
Vieux Carre of New Orleans who remember that 
they are French by sympathy, traditions, language 
and descent; whose love and reverence for France 
a century of years has not dimmed; who have 
never sensed a feeling of expatriation, notwithstand- 
ing the change of jurisdiction brought about by 
the purchase of their province; who boast of their 
unfamiliarity with the English tongue, and of never 
setting foot across Canal Street — the line dividing 
the French from the American sections of the 
city — taking to themselves much virtuous satis- 
faction therefrom. 

No portion of the French-speaking race watched 
with more intense interest the stormy career of 
Napoleon; more jubilantly exulted in his victories 
or grieved with greater anguish over his downfall. 
His triumphs are recorded in the nomenclature of 
New Orleans streets, — Austerlitz, Marengo, Jena, 
Milan, Berlin ; his name is given to one of the Cres- 

204 ^6^ $a£fgmg of a ^rofaince 

cent City's broadest and most stately avenues. 
There still stands in the historic section of the old 
French Quarter of New Orleans, the "Napoleon 
House," a most imposing structure at the time of 
its erection. It was purchased and luxuriously 
furnished by public subscription when news of the 
Emperor's exile to St. Helena reached Louisiana. 
To this home and refuge he was to be brought by 
a blockade-running expedition under the fearless 
leadership of a semi-piratical hero of the battle of 
New Orleans, Dominick You. Here he was to be 
harbored for the rest of his days, in kindliest care 
and deepest affection. His might have been the 
fate to find sepulture in the old Cimetiere St. Louis, 
at the end of the noble tree-shaded thoroughfare 
of the Esplanade, New Orleans, instead of under 
the Dome des Invalides, Paris. Only news of his 
death, as the expedition was about to set out, put 
an end to the adventure. The city mourned his 
loss profoundly. Truly did the Louisianians re- 



"T^HE Louisianians, advised of the retrocession of 
*• their province to France, awaited the arrival 
of General Victor and prepared to accord him an 
elaborate welcome. Contracts to furnish meat 
and other supplies for the expected troops were 
actually let. Even cockades — the insignia of the 
French Republic — were made ready for wearing, 
although the Louisianians, at heart, were really 
more Royalist than Republican. 

But France was needing at home all her officers 
and soldiers. On March 26, 1803, Colonial Prefect 
Laussat, who, as originally planned, was to ac- 
company General Victor, arrived alone. Although 
he was received with honor, he could not but notice 
a certain restraint in the attitude of a number of 
the colonists. They could not conceal their dis- 
appointment over the non-arrival of the military 
to give a prestige to the occasion which this single 
civil officer could not impart. While there were 
some who hailed with sentimental enthusiasm a 
return to French domination, there were others 
who had become attached to the rule of Spain and 


2o6 tE^fje gagging of a ^rofaince 

still others who regarded the proposed change of 
jurisdiction as calamitous. The merchants antici- 
pated with uneasiness a possible disarrangement 
of, or an interference with, the colony's commerce. 
The planters feared the freeing of their slaves, 
which would mean disaster to themselves, as the 
slogan, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, " sounding 
from across the sea seemed to them significant of 
this liberation. Refugees escaped from a remem- 
bered Robespierrean reign of terror trembled lest a 
belated, insatiable vengeance overtake them. 
Priests and religious orders recalling with horror 
the sacrilegious outrages of the French Revolution 
prepared to abandon their charges, all but nine of 
the Ursuline Sisterhood actually taking their de- 
parture from New Orleans rather than again be 
under French jurisdiction. 

Laussat found himself in a position almost as 
anomalous as was that of Ulloa a little less than 
forty years before. Meanwhile, he went through 
the formality of issuing a public address to the 
people in which he announced the retrocession of 
Louisiana to France and congratulated the Louis- 
ianians upon becoming once more French subjects. 
He was perfunctorily applauded and replied to. 
He was assured that while "their souls were filled 
with a delirium of extreme felicity" over the in- 
telligence he had conveyed to them, yet respon- 
dents were not unmindful of the advantages they 
had been enjoying under the beneficent rule of 

Ceremonial of the Transfer of Louisiana to the United States 

(From a painting owned by the Louisiana Histori- 
cal Society and reproduced by special permission) 
Showing Place d'Armes as it appeared before its embellishment and conversion into " Jack- 
son Square," and the Cabildo and St. Louis Cathedral before their subsequent renovation and 

tirransiferrmgj; of ^itle 207 

"We should be unworthy of what to us is a subject of so 
much pride," said they, "did we not acknowledge that we 
have no cause of complaint against the Spanish government. 
We have not been subjected to the yoke of an oppressive 
despotism. We, of course, remember the time when the 
blood of our unfortunate kinsmen reddened the soil they 
would save. But responsibility for this was not to be laid 
to Spaniards but to the atrocious soul of a foreigner." 

Referring to their Spanish-born fellow citizens, 
they continued: 

"We have become bound together by the ties of family 
connection and the bonds of friendship. Let us share 
with them like brothers the blessings of our new position." 

Marquis de Casa Calvo, representing the Cap- 
tain-General of Cuba, Louisiana and the Floridas, 
arrived from Havana to act with Governor Salcedo 
in the transfer of the province to France. He was 
of the best Spanish blood, of the highest social pres- 
tige and of consummate skill in arranging and 
presiding over public and private functions and 
ceremonies. He was accompanied by a pompous 
body-guard and a brilliant staff of oflScers to provide 
an effulgent background to his glory. He had felt, 
with other high-bred Spaniards, the humiliation of 
his country's having to give up Louisiana, but was 
determined that the withdrawal of Spanish power 
from the Valley should be accompanied by such a 
blaze of festivity as to blind all to Spain's humilia- 
tion in withdrawing. He would give the pleasure- 
loving Louisianians cause to regret the passing from 
the province of Spain's paternal aristocrats who 

2o8 ^J)e ^asijfing of a ^robince 

had governed them so kindly. He would leave a 
last impression that for many a year to come would 
cause them to sigh for the good old days of the 
Spanish regime. 

A whirl of social gayeties and festivities was set 
in motion. Entertainment followed entertain- 
ment. Balls, concerts and dinners succeeded one 
another seemingly without end. Theaters were 
run in full blast. The spirit of those who were 
hosts on these occasions was, "See what a glad, 
sweet song life is under Spanish rule. Enjoy while 
ye may for soon will come the dullness of existence 
under the democratic rule of republicanized 

These proceedings were a challenge to Laussat, 
which he promptly accepted. The prestige of his 
country, social or otherwise, was not to suffer by 
contrast while it reposed with him . He was blessed 
with a wife of much personal charm, who ably 
seconded him in arranging a series of counter en- 
tertainments which dovetailed into those the 
Spaniards were giving. Function followed func- 
tion, each going its predecessor one better. No 
two rivals for social leadership in the so-called 
smart set of American society of later times were 
ever to compete for ascendancy with greater in- 
tensity of purpose than was manifested by this 
grandee, Casa Calvo, and this "Citizen," Laussat. 
But vain, vain, the prideful efforts of the French 
contender in this social race ! The palm of what- 
ever victories were his had in the end to be laid 

^ranfifferringsf of tE^itle 209 

upon the pyre of his country's colonial ambitions, 
to mingle its ashes with those of his own dead hopes. 
For, eight months after his arrival, Laussat, having 
received authority to take over Louisiana from 
Spain, did so in the knowledge that the province 
was not to be France's but was to be passed on to 
the United States. Nevertheless, the ceremony of 
lowering the Spanish flag and raising that of France 
was gone through with much formality,^ a pro- 
visional government instituted and the Cabildo re- 
placed by a mayor, two adjuncts and a municipal 
council. Etienne de Bore — afterwards famous as 
the father of Louisiana's sugar industry — was ap- 
pointed mayor 'pro tern. 

Twenty days after,^ a second ceremony was 
staged, when Governor Claiborne of the nearby 
Mississippi territory and General James Wilkinson 
of the United States Army, having been commis- 
sioned to receive the Province, arrived with a con- 
tingent of Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee militia. 
As these Westerners marched through the upper 
city gates they were greeted with a salute of twenty- 
one guns. 

In the Place d'Armes, as upon a former occasion, 
the colonial military were drawn up to receive the 
visitors. But what a contrast in impressiveness 
and pageantry to that other possession-taking cere- 
mony when, within the memory of many onlookers, 
O'Reilly had entered the city on his mission of 
vengeance ! The W esterners, uncouthly equipped. 

' November 30. 1803. ' December 20, 1803. 


210 TOe ^asisiins of a ^robince 

lined up on one side of the square. The native 
newly-organized and uniformed militia lined up on 
the other. Neither were the imposing decorations 
to the landscape that O'Reilly's richly caparisoned 
three thousand had been. 

With the two military contingents thus assem- 
bled, the two commissioners entered the Council- 
House — late the Cabildo — and presented their 
credentials to Laussat. These, with the treaty of 
cession, the proces-verbal of transfer and the formal 
authorization to the French commissioner to com- 
plete the transaction, were read aloud. Laussat 
delivered the keys of the city to Claiborne, figura- 
tively as well as in fact, for the New Orleans of that 
day had gates where roads entered the city. He 
then led him to the balcony where exactly one 
hundred years afterwards President McKinley was 
to stand, the central figure in the exercises com- 
memorative of the centenary of Louisiana's transfer 
to the United States. 

Here, facing the militia and the people crowd- 
ing the square before them, Laussat formally ab- 
solved all Louisianians from their allegiance to the 
country which only twenty days before had taken 
them under its jurisdiction. Claiborne followed 
with a conciliatory address in English, a language 
understood by not a third of his hearers. The 
French flag began its descent from the staff in the 
center of the square and at the same time the 
American flag began its ascent. As the two met 
and paused midway in seeming salutation, each 

tlTransiferrmgsi of tKitle 211 

of the other, a gun was fired. This was a signal 
to the forts on the outskirts of the city and to the 
vessels in port to discharge their many salvos. The 
major portion of the large crowd assembled looked 
on in apparent unconcern; a small contingent of 
Americans cheered as the flag of their country arose. 
Thus ended the ceremony. 

Louisiana, the western half of America's great 
central valley, was now a possession of the United 
States. Its purchase had stretched the powers of 
the Federal Constitution so that they were never 
again to return to the exact limits originally set for 
them by the founders of the Republic. Its ac- 
quirement marked the first significant step towards 
a national territorial advance, which even the broad 
waters of the world's greatest ocean have failed to 

The organization of the Valley's first government 
under the American flag precipitated upon the law- 
makers of our country for the first time in our his- 
tory the issue of Imperialism, — the governing by a 
free people of a distant less-free people, whether 
of right or to the infliction of wrong, — which in a 
little less than a century was to rise paramount in 
connection with Cuba and the Philippines. The 
soil of the territory purchased held seeds which, 
when stimulated by sectional antagonisms, were to 
grow and ripen into fruitage of one of the greatest 
conflicts of all times. Notwithstanding all of 
which, no American citizen of whatever generation 
will cease to have reason to congratulate himself 

212 ta^f^t ^aisiiriQ of a ^robime 

that through the boldness and prompt decision of 
our envoys to France, Monroe and Livingston, 
and the patriotic foresight of our President, Thomas 
Jefferson, this great domain embracing over a mil- 
lion square miles now is constituted into great new 
western commonwealths, contributing so materi- 
ally to the power and greatness of his country. 

Upper Louisiana being at the time of the trans- 
fer under a government of its own, though a sub- 
sidiary one, it was incumbent upon Laussat to 
formally take over from the Spanish lieutenant- 
governor at St. Louis the part of the province 
over which the latter exercised authority. In- 
stead, however, of going up the river in person to 
institute a second ceremonial of transfer, he com- 
missioned Captain — afterwards Major — Amos 
Stoddard of the United States Army to act in the 

Captain Stoddard with a retinue of officers 
crossed over from Cahokia to St. Louis, made the 
necessary representations to Lieutenant-Governor 
De Lassus and received the territory on behalf of 
France.^ The next day he transferred the territory 
from himself as France's commissioner to himself 
as American commissioner. There was no exodus 
of inhabitants as was the case when forty years 
before the French flag had ceased to fly over nearby 
Illinois, although people here also had misgivings 
concerning the approaching American domination. 
A number of Westerners had already moved to 

» March 9, 1804. 

WvaniitxvinQi of Citle 213 

Missouri, as has been noted — and had become 
naturalized Spanish subjects. They did not hail 
with entire satisfaction a return to American citi- 
zenship, the Spanish Government having been very 
liberal in its dealings with them. 

The question as to the limits of the domain pur- 
chased was in after years to occasion considerable 
discussion. These limits were set forth very ob- 
scurely in the treaty of San Ildefonso upon which 
the American title is based. The province went 
back to France "with the same extent that it now 
has in the hands of Spain, and that it had when 
France possessed it; and such as it should be after 
the treaties subsequently entered into between 
Spain and other States." 

Louisiana, as France possessed it, included both 
east and west halves of the Mississippi Valley; in 
the hands of Spain it embraced only the western 
half and the island of Orleans. "When France 
possessed it" West Florida to the Perdido River had 
no distinct territorial entity but was a part of 
" Louisiana "; when gift of the province was made 
to Spain it was shorn of West Florida, for that 
portion fell to Great Britain, from whom Spain sub- 
sequently acquired title to it by conquest, inde- 
pendent and distinct from that to Louisiana ac- 
quired by gift. 

The commissioners to take over Louisiana made 
no attempt to take possession of West Florida. 
Spain had insisted from the first that this section 
was not included in the retrocession she made to 

214 ^tje l^aiiixiQ of a Probince 

France. Seven years after Louisiana was pur- 
chased and taken over, the flag of Spain still was 
flying over the posts of Baton Rouge and Mobile 
and might have continued so to do indefinitely or 
until the purchase of the two Floridas, which was 
subsequently effected, had not the inhabitants of 
the Baton Rouge district in 1810 under the leader- 
ship of Colonel Philemon Thomas risen in revolt, 
thrown off the yoke of Spain and organized an 
independent but short-lived State government. 
Not until West Florida applied for admission to 
the Union was there a seeming waking up to the 
old claim which Livingston had earnestly and per- 
sonally put forward after the Louisiana purchase 
was closed, doubtless to offset in part a possible loss 
of prestige in having had to share with Monroe 
the credit of putting the Louisiana deal over, after 
his own inability to do so unaided became apparent. 

The inhabitants would have welcomed annexa- 
tion to the United States upon terms of their own 
making; but their hopes were dashed by the prompt 
action of President Monroe. In a proclamation 
he declared that West Florida, as far as the river 
Perdido, had always been considered a part of the 
province purchased in 1803. He ordered the oc- 
cupation of the territory, ignoring the claims of its 
citizens to independence, and summarily annexed 
it, to be afterwards portioned out to Louisiana, 
Mississippi and Alabama. That part which fell 
to Louisiana is still known as the Florida Parishes. 

France in explorational and colonial days 

tE^ransiferringjf of Kitlt 215 

claimed that Louisiana extended westward well 
on towards the Rio Grande, La Salle having planted 
his ill-starred settlement on Matagorda Bay; the 
United States acquired this claim with the pur- 
chase. Spain in later times insisted that the limits 
of her Texas possessions should be a line drawn 
northward from the Gulf between the Mermentau 
and Calcasieu Rivers of Louisiana, running a little 
to the west of Natchitoches, crossing the Red, 
Arkansas and White Rivers to the Missouri, 
whose course defined the rest of the boundary. 

In determining the southwest boundary of the 
Louisiana purchase, a compromise was reached 
with Spain as between the Rio Grande on one 
side and the Mermentau on the other. The Sabine 
River was accepted by both, the decision reached 
being incorporated as one of a number of features 
in the treaty with Spain by which the United States 
acquired Florida.^ 

^ 1819. 


The Valley American 



America's first *' scrap of paper" 

'X'HE purchase of Louisiana as a land transaction 
"■• encountered no efifective resistance in Con- 
gress; not so the proposition to incorporate into 
the Union the people of the acquired province. 
Said Dr. Eustis, member from Massachusetts, "I 
am one of those who believe that the principles of 
liberty cannot be grafted suddenly upon a people 
accustomed to a regimen of a directly opposite hue. 
I consider them [Louisianians] as standing in the 
same relation as if they were a conquered country." 
It may be said en passant that in the course of time 
these principles were so admirably grafted that 
Louisiana elected a member of the Eustis family 
to the United States Senate, his appointment as 
Ambassador to France following the expiration 
of his senatorial service. 

The United States, in accepting title to the ter- 
ritory, had pledged that Louisianians would be ad- 
mitted to "all the rights, advantages and immuni- 
ties of citizens of the United States." To the 
people whose land had been sold this meant that 
Louisiana as a whole was to be admitted as one 


220 Wt^t "^allej^ American 

State. It also meant the immediate institution 
over them of a form of government under which 
they would derive without delay all the benefits 
of a self governing citizenship and all the advan- 
tages of trade and commerce enjoyed elsewhere in 
the Union. 

Their awakening was a sad one. The precedent 
of regarding solemn treaty pledges as mere scraps 
of paper had already been set. The United States 
seemed to have followed the evil precedent of the 
San Ildefonso treaty. Instead of holding their 
broad domain intact, even as in after years Texas 
was to hold its great area together as one, they 
found it ruthlessly dismembered with no regard 
to their rights and wishes in the matter. 

Louisianians were not admitted to the privileges, 
advantages and immunities of the United States. 
Citizens of the United States could at that time 
import slaves from foreign parts ; the Louisianians 
could not, although slave labor was as vital to the 
development of their rich alluvial lands as it was 
considered to be to other sections. Citizens of the 
United States selected their officials; their law- 
makers were representative of themselves; Louis- 
iana was forced to accept an appointive executive, 
an appointive judiciary and an appointive law- 
making body. Even the legislative appointees 
wei*e dictated to by Congress, twenty -one specified 
acts being prescribed for them to pass at their first 

The first grievance of the Louisianians came with 

l^merica's; jfivit "^crap of $aper'* 221 

the division of their province into the Territory of 
Orleans and the District of Louisiana, the dividing 
line being that of the northern boundary of the 
present State of Louisiana/ To add insult to in- 
jury the upper portion — "District of Louisiana " — 
which had had its own separate government under 
the regime of Spain, was made an appendage of 
the territory of Indiana whose Governor, William 
Henry Harrison — afterwards President of the 
United States — three judges and a secretary were 
to exercise all executive, legislative and judiciary 

The government prescribed for Orleans Terri- 
tory was no less an outrage upon those who had 
prepared themselves to accept in good faith the 
duties and responsibilities of American citizenship. 
Instead of becoming, collectively, a self-governing 
state in the American Union and, individually, 
self-respecting citizens of a self -governed state, the 
people found themselves un-free subjects of a near- 
satrapy; sold, as it were, with their soil as serfs; 
robbed of the revered name which the "Prince of 
American Explorers" had handed down to them 
from a time honored past. As one of America's 
great historians^ sums it up, " Louisiana received a 
government by which the people who had been sol- 
emnly promised all the rights of American citizens 
were set apart, not as citizens but as subjects, 
lower in the political scale than the meanest tribe 
of Indians whose right to self-government was 

» March 26, 1804. ' Henry Adams. 

222 Wi)t ^allep American 

never questioned." Thus was planted in the soil 
of the Louisiana purchase the first seed of Ameri- 
can Imperialism which was to attain full and rapid 
growth following the Spanish-American War of 

Consider for a moment the effects of such dis- 
paragement as that expressed by Dr. Eustis and 
such doubt concerning their qualifications as that 
expressed by Congress in the Act establishing the 
first government of Orleans Territory, upon a 
people who had recently been feted and dined and 
courted by Casa Calvo and Laussat; who had de- 
veloped an inner circle of sensitive, high-minded 
aristocrats, punctilious in their adherence to the 
niceties of social intercourse and actuated upon 
every occasion by the spirit of noblesse oblige; whose 
judgment of Americans derived by contact with the 
rude, breezy, turbulently-inclined, flatboating, pa- 
tronizing Western representatives of that race who 
had from time to time come down the river to New 
Orleans, was that of the Roman patrician toward 
the invading barbarian. The Anglo-Saxon has al- 
ways been prone to doubt the capacity of the other 
races for self-government. But that the Congress 
of that time should entertain this doubt in regard 
to a people principally of French extraction is 
passing strange when it is considered that Amer- 
ica's great apostle of Democracy, Thomas Jeffer- 
son, drew his principal inspiration from the fount 
of French political philosophy and that no work 
has stronger claim to the title of Democracy's 

^mtvica'i Jfirsit **^crap of $aper" 223 

Bible than Le Contrat Social, the product of a 
Franco-Swiss mind. 

The Louisianians soon began to voice in strong 
terms their indignation over the treatment they 
had received . They instituted a campaign of abuse 
and disabuse. The first consisted of public meet- 
ings which served as vituperative outlets for their 
thoughts; the second took form in the sending of a 
delegation of three to Washington to furnish first- 
hand information as to conditions existing in the 
newly-acquired territory — to set Congress right as 
to the needs and qualifications of the people con- 
cerning whom such ignorance had been displayed. 
These three, Derbigny, Sauve and Destrahan, of 
polished, suave and exquisitely courtly manners, 
were a revelation to the representatives of the East 
who had obsessed themselves with the idea that 
the Louisianians were all of mongrel type and 
worthy of little consideration. Senator Plummer 
of New Hampshire, Senator Pickering of Massa- 
chusetts and other dignitaries at Washington en- 
tertained them at dinner. Plummer wrote of them : 

"They are all Frenchmen. Two of them (Derbigny and 
Sauve) speak our language fluently. They are all gentlemen 
of the first respectability in that country, — men of talent, 
literature and general information, — men of business and 
acquainted with the world. I was much gratified with their 
company — they had little of French frippery about them. 
They resemble New England men more than the Virginians." 

Congress, at the instance of this delegation, 
hastened to correct itself by approving a new 

224 ^fje ^Tallep American 

measure for the government of Orleans Territory/ 
It granted an elective legislative body of twenty- 
five, an appointive council of five, and all the rights 
and privileges of the citizens of Mississippi Terri- 
tory nearby. Thus did American civil govern- 
ment of a representative nature make its first cross- 
ing of the Mississippi and as this government was 
prescribed by Congress, it is interesting to note 
the several steps by which Congressional jurisdic- 
tion over the wilderness West advanced to the 
Mississippi before crossing over. 

' March 2. 1805. 



T TNDER their original Colonial charters seven 
^"^ of the thirteen Atlantic seaboard States 
held titular rights to the region beyond the Alle- 
ghanies. Congress, pressed for revenue and op- 
pressed by the heavy public debt incurred in 
conducting the war of the Revolution, beheld in 
these Western lands an important asset to offset 
and perhaps satisfy the joint obligation resting 
upon all thirteen of the States. It suggested, 
therefore, that a liberal cession of "waste and 
unappropriated lands in the Western Country" 
be made to the central government for the common 
good of the Union. 

To this request, all seven States made generous 
response, with certain reservations, such as the 
northwestern corner of what is now Ohio, — known 
as the Western or Connecticut Reserve; the section 
immediately south of the river Ohio which was 
Virginia's District of Kentucky, and an area north 
of the Ohio reserved by Virginia for bestowal as a 
reward for services upon the participants of the 

15 225 

226 Wtit ^allep American 

George Rogers Clark expedition. Congress thus 
acquired titular rights to lands forming the eastern 
half of the Mississippi Valley, which rights were 
further confirmed after a long series of treaties 
whereby the original Indian titles to certain areas 
were extinguished and their Indian occupants 
moved west of the Mississippi. 

With the acquirement of title from the several 
States and before the Indian titles were extin- 
guished Congress began to establish political 
jurisdiction over the region acquired. Three terri- 
tories were constituted out of the ceded domain. 
The first of these was the "Territory North-west 
of the river Ohio," extending from the western 
boundary of Pennsylvania to the Mississippi and 
from the Ohio to the Lakes and Canadian boundary 
line. This area was ceded by the States of Virginia, 
Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts, though 
Virginia's claim to exclusive jurisdiction over the 
territory by virtue of her original charter of 1609 
and the conquest of the territory by her troops 
under George Rogers Clark could have been well 

The second territory constituted was the "Terri- 
tory South of the river Ohio" formed from the 
North Carolina cession and embracing practically 
the area of the present State of Tennessee. The 
third territory, organized ten years after the first, 
was the Territory of Mississippi, embracing first 
the lower halves of the present States of Alabama 
and Mississippi to which were afterwards added 

(genesiisf of €arlj> Miti=Mtit CommontDealtliss 227 

the upper halves — Georgia's and South Carolina's 
share in the general cession. 

Plans for the division and government of the 
ceded area lying north of the Ohio before it was 
constituted into the Northwest Territory gave 
rise to much debate in Congress. The first proposi- 
tion was to run a line north from the "Falls of the 
Ohio" and another north from the mouth of the 
Great Kanawha River, both to extend to the Lakes 
or to the Canada boundary line. This divided the 
territory into two long strips and one short one. 
The two long strips were each to be cut into eight 
States ; the short, narrow strip south of Lake Erie, 
and adjoining Pennsylvania, was to constitute one 
State, making seventeen States in all. This proposi- 
tion had few supporters. 

Thomas Jefferson then headed a committee to 
prepare a plan of government and provide for a 
more acceptable division. The report of this 
committee also recommended three tiers of States 
with the same north-and-south dividing lines as 
already suggested, but reduced the number of 
States proposed, from seventeen to ten, each to be, 
as nearly as possible, two degrees of latitude in 
width from north to south and extending across its 
respective tier from east to west. The committee 
even specified the name by which each was to be 
designated. With the seriousness of pedants, they 
drew these names from Latin, Greek and Indian 
sources and applied them with due regard to their 
own ideas of fitness. 

228 Wi)t "^allep ^tnttitm 

The lower peninsula of Michigan being an entity 
of itself, was to be the State of Cherronesus, recall- 
ing a famous physiographic division of ancient 
Greece. Starting at the north of the western- 
most tier there was to be, first, the State of Syl- 
vania — the forest state — extending from the Lake 
of the Woods on the north to the 45th parallel of 
latitude on the south. This took in northeast 
Minnesota, the upper peninsula of Michigan and 
upper Wisconsin. 

South of Sylvania, with Lake Michigan on one 
side and the Mississippi on the other, and between 
parallels 45 and 43, would be known as the State 
of Michigania. South of Michigania down to the 
41st parallel would be the State of Assenisipia — 
from Assenisipi, the Indian name for Rock River. 
South of Assenisipia down to the 39th parallel 
would be the State of Illinoia. South of Illinoia to 
the Ohio River was not sufficient territory to make 
up the specified two-degree width, so a correspond- 
ing part of the next tier to the east was added, to 
form the strip-like State of Polypotamia — the 
State of many waters, because of the many tribu- 
taries of the Ohio and Mississippi flowing through 
its area. East of Polypotamia lying along the 
Ohio was to be the State of Pelipsipia — from 
Pelipsipi, the Cherokee name for the Ohio River. 

The second or middle tier, omitting Michigan or 
*' Cherronesus, " had, first, the State of Metropo- 
tamia — mother of waters — situated east of Asseni- 
sipia and along Lake Erie. Its name was significant 

^tntaii of €arlj> illiti=lies;t CommontoeaUfis; 229 

of its giving rise to many rivers flowing northward 
and southward from its "divide." South of 
Metropotamia and east of Illinoia was to be the 
State of Saratoga, — complimentary of the great 
victory in the war of the Revolution, many of whose 
veterans were to become pioneers to this section. 
Touching Saratoga on the south and extending 
to the Ohio was the eastern part of Polypotamia 
and the State of Pelipsipia as already mentioned. 
The short, narrow easternmost tier lying next to 
Pennsylvania from the Ohio northward was to 
constitute the State of Washington. 

If the report of the committee had been adopted 
and put into effect, think for a moment of the addi- 
tional burden it would have put upon generations 
of school children learning their three R's in the 
"little red schoolhouse" all over the land. Five 
extra States, aside from those constituted, would 
have been added to the maps studied, and, 
under the old dispensation, each class in geography 
was faithfully taught to "bound each State and 
tells its capital. " 

Assenisipia.f^ Assenisipia is bounded on the north 
by Michigania; on the east by Lake Michigan and 
Metropotamia; on the south by Illinoia; on the 
west by the Mississippi River: Capital, what.^ 
Chicago .f* Milwaukee? Both would have been 
in the proposed State. 

And the Western preacher who always brought 
"Mesopotamia" into his sermon because, as he 
explained, it was such an impressive word and 

230 Kfit "^allep iamerican 

rolled so melodiously off the tongue. How he 
would have reveled in his orotund repetitions, 
" When / was down in Poly-po-^a-mia etc. ! " Think 
also of the averted fate of St. Paul's being located 
in Michigania ; Detroit in Cherronesus; Cleveland, 
in Metropotamia ; Cincinnati in Pelipsipia! Could 
there have been any "Illinoia or Saratoga School" 
of poets and novelists, as afterwards arose in 
Indiana .f^ 

The report of the committee was rejected in part 
and all names struck out. The substance of Jeffer- 
son's plan of government was, however, adopted. 
It was decided to administer the territory as a 
whole. In time, when it was finally divided into 
States, Virginia's original wishes seem to have been 
complied with and that was, the territory ceded 
by her was to be formed into not less than three nor 
more than five States, lines drawn northward from 
the Wabash and Miami rivers to constitute 

The ordinance drawn up by Thomas Jefferson 
and adopted by Congress for the government of 
this northwestern area of ceded territory is known 
by the year of its adoption as the Ordinance of 
1787. It is a very significant document among the 
many that have had important bearings upon 
American affairs. Perhaps in importance as affect- 
ing subsequent events, it is out-ranked by only 
three other American State pj^pers — the Virginia 
Bill of Rights, the American Declaration of In- 
dependence and the Federal Constitution. 

^tntsiii of €arlp M^=Mtit Commontoealtfis; 231 

The Ordinance of 1787 embodied the ideas of 
early American lawmakers as to how sparsely 
settled distant regions owned by the United States 
should be governed. It fathered a long succession 
of territorial governments, — to each of which it 
bequeathed and transmitted forms, provisions, 
concessions and guarantees. It not only carried 
the jurisdiction of the U. S. to the Mississippi 
River but it stenciled its pattern upon territorial 
governments beyond. It is specially distinguished 
as embodying the first geographical restriction to 
the American institution of slavery, prohibiting 
same, for all time in the Northwest Territory. 
It also embodied the National government's first 
practical recognition of the needs of public educa- 
tion, for by its provisions a portion of the public 
domain was set aside for public school purposes — 
the sixteenth section of every township. 

The government as organized under the Ordin- 
ance of 1787 consisted of a Governor serving three 
years; a Secretary serving four years and three 
judges serving "during good behavior." These 
ofiicers were all appointive, first by Congress before 
the Federal Government came into existence, then 
by the President of the United States. 

It was ordained that when the territory should 
reach a population of five thousand male inhabi- 
tants of legal age and citizenship it would be given 
legislative privileges. These were to be exercised 
by a General Assembly consisting of a Legislative 
Council and a House of Representatives. The 

232 ^i)t '¥a\ltp American 

Council was to consist of five members, serving 
five years, appointed by Congress from a list of ten 
recommended by the Territorial House of Repre- 
sentatives. The Representatives were to be elected 
by the voters of the Territory, to serve two years, 
and their number was fixed at one for every five 
hundred voters until the limit of twenty-five 
members was reached, after which the legislature 
itself would have all powers of apportionment and 
of determining the number of representatives to 

The position of Secretary was a unique one. He 
not only kept the public records and performed the 
duties usual to a Secretary of State of the present 
day, but he kept tab on the acts of the other officials 
and reported thereon every six months to Congress 
or the President. His term over-lapped the gover- 
nor's by one year, presumably to give him an 
opportunity to advise or coach the gubernatorial 
successor before himself going out of office. The 
features of a four-year secretary and a three-year 
governor, a judiciary of three and a five-thousand- 
population requirement before the privilege of 
electing territorial lawmakers, could be exercised 
— a privilege which constituted a basic feature of 
self-government according to the American idea — 
reappeared in each of a line of territorial govern- 
ments that followed, so as to become with repeti- 
tions almost institutional. 

The territory south of the River Ohio, the 
second territory to be formed, was of compara- 

(^enesJisi of Carlp Miti-Me^t Commontoealtfjjf 233 

lively short duration. At the time of the cession 
it had already received a large number of settlers 
and was soon given statehood as Tennessee. The 
history of the organization of Mississippi Territory 
is interesting, first, because of the direct descent 
of its government from that of the Northwest 
Territory, it being the third territory to be formed 
from the ceded lands in the West; and, second, 
because in connection with the establishment of 
this government was fought one of the very earliest 
political battles in the West, showing how watchful 
were the people of that area of any usurpation of 
authority or infringement upon their rights. This 
was precipitated by the action of the first con- 
stituted authorities of the Territory. 

Winthrop Sargent had been transferred from the 
post of secretary of the Northwest Territory and 
was appointed as governor when the Mississippi 
Territory was formed. He and the three judges 
who exercised legislative prerogatives until such 
time as the five-thousand-population requirement 
should be met, passed laws that aroused much 
indignation among the residents of the territory, 
many of whom were Americans from the older 
section. The most obnoxious of these laws pro- 
vided for the levying of illegal fees, to the personal 
and financial benefit of the Governor, for perform- 
ing duties covered by his salary. As a result of the 
general indignation that was aroused, and of the 
protest that went to Washington, the governor was 
removed and an elective legislative department was 

234 ^t)e ^allep American 

installed at once, to consist, until the five-thousand- 
population point was reached, of nine members, — 
four from the County of Adams, four from Picker- 
ing and one from the Tombigbee and Tensaw 
settlements. In 1817 the Alabama portion of 
Mississippi Territory was set off to itself. 

The first dividing up of the Northwest Territory 
was when the larger part of its area was set off as 
Indiana Territory,' with Vincennes as capital. 
The dividing line was that beginning at a point 
on the Ohio opposite the mouth of the Kentucky 
River and running northward to the Lakes and the 
Canadian boundary. This left what is now Ohio 
and a north-and-south strip in eastern Michigan, 
to continue as the *' Territory North of the River 
Ohio" with its capital fixed at Chillicothe. 

Ohio becoming a state^ with its boundaries as 
now, the Territory of Michigan came into existence.^ 
Then Indiana Territory suffered a second depletion 
when the Territory of Illinois, with Kaskaskia as 
capital, was taken from it, the Wabash being the 
dividing line."^ When Illinois became a State^ 
with its limits as now, the northern portion once 
included under its territorial jurisdiction was 
added to Michigan to be again separated eighteen 
years after as the Territory of Wisconsin.^ 

In all the Acts establishing this succession of sub- 
divisions of the Northwest Territory, it was speci- 
fied respectively that the inhabitants were to enjoy 

I May 7, 1800. ' 1803. 3 January 11, 1805. 

4 February 3, 1809. s December 3, 1818. « April 30, 1836. 

^mtai^ of €axlp Miti=Mtsit CommonboeaUljfiJ 235 

all the rights, privileges and advantages granted to 
and secured to the people of the original "Territory 
of the United States Northwest of the River Ohio " 
by the Ordinance of 1787. 

The salient features, as noted, were repeated 
until the time came to institute the territory of 
Wisconsin (April 30, 1836). Then it was that a 
territory of the United States was given for the 
first time a judiciary system, which in its complete- 
ness and thorough organization would suit ad- 
mirably the needs of a full fledged State, — Supreme, 
District and Probate Courts, Justices of the Peace, 
Territorial Attorney, Marshal, etc. 

As to the section west of the Mississippi em- 
braced within the Louisiana purchase, the primary 
division into Orleans Territory and the District of 
Louisiana has already been referred to. The "Dis- 
trict" as an appendage of the Territory of Indiana 
existed but a year when it was changed to the 
"Territory of Louisiana'" with the regulation 
governor, secretary and three judges but no pro- 
vision made for a representative assembly, — the 
governor and judges together exercising legislative 
functions. General James Wilkinson was ap- 
pointed Governor, Dr. Joseph Browne — brother-in- 
law of Aaron Burr — Secretary and J. B. C. Lucas, 
John Coburn and Rufus Easton, the three judges. 

In 1812 a decided advance was made from the 
provincial type. The Territory of Louisiana be- 
came the Territory of Missouri, as the name of 

« March 2, 1805. 

236 tK^fje ^allep American 

"Louisiana" had been appropriated by the State 
formed in that year from Orleans Territory. 
Missouri Territory was accorded a lawmaking 
General Assembly of nine Legislative Councillors 
and a House of Representatives, pro-rated one 
member to each five hundred free, white male in- 
habitants. Its Governor was William Clark of 
Lewis-and-Clark fame. Seven years after' the 
southern portion of Missouri Territory was set off 
as ArksLUsaw Territory with seat of government at 
Arkansas Post. General James Miller of New 
Hampshire, the *'I'll try, sir" hero of Lundy's 
Lane was appointed first governor of Arkansas 
Territory and Robert Crittenden of Kentucky, first 
Secretary. The first seat of government was the 
old settlement of Arkansas Post founded by Tonti. 
The areas now covered by the States of Iowa and 
Minnesota were set apart after the Territory of 
Missouri was formed, and up to the time they 
were accorded territorial government of their own, 
were included in the jurisdiction first of Michigan 
Territory, next of Wisconsin Territory. Further 
reference to them will be found elsewhere. 

' March 2, 1819. 



CARGENT when deposed was succeeded as 
^ Governor of the Territory of Mississippi by 
William Charles Cole Claiborne, who is described 
by one of Mississippi's historians as "the knight- 
liest figure in all our history, combining as he did 
the wisdom of Oglethorpe, the benevolence of 
Penn and the undaunted courage of America's 
foremost colonial heroes." 

Although his name is but little known except to 
the student of the Valley's history, yet his career 
from beginning to end will well repay study as 
furnishing an example not only of what American 
genius can do when given American opportunities, 
but of how men qualified for leadership found these 
opportunities in the West of that early pioneer 
period. It certainly is not due to any lack upon his 
part that he is not better known, or that what he 
accomplished is not more fully set forth in the 
annals of American statesmanship. It is probably 
more due to the fact that the lines of his destiny 
were cast in places far removed and comparatively 
little known. Otherwise, observers might have 


238 t!Df)e "^allep American 

recorded his works and deeds and thus have en- 
abled the historian to place him in his proper niche 
in the nation's temple. 

Claiborne was born in Sussex County, Virginia, 
in 1775. It is reasonable to assume that the flame 
of American patriotism flared at times about his 
cradle and the reverberations of guns upon Revo- 
lutionary battlefields must have been his to hear 
in spirit if not in fact during his early boyhood. 
He was born to that poverty which ever serves as a 
spur to the ambitious. His sixteenth birthday 
found him in New York City, then the capital of 
the nation, a boy of limited education but of 
pleasing address and of such apparent good breed- 
ing that the friendship of many in high authority 
was drawn to him. 

Among those to whose notice Claiborne came at 
this time was Thomas Jefferson, then Secretary of 
State in President Washington's Cabinet. Another 
was Colonel John Sevier, the "Commonwealth 
Builder" and great exponent of free government 
west of the AUeghanies. The former befriended 
him upon several occasions. From the latter he 
learned of the opportunities to be found by the 
energetic and enterprising in the "Territory south 
of the Ohio " soon to become the State of Tennessee. 

Following the old pioneer's advice, Claiborne 
set out for the Western country. He was at the 
time, just emerging from his teens. On his way he 
stopped over at Richmond, where he devoted three 
months to the study of law, a preparation for the 

0n €arlj> i^merican MtUiriQ l^ot 239 

bar which at the present day would be considered 
rather inadequate, but in those times and sur- 
roundings was deemed amply sufficient when 
sustained by keen intelHgence, dignified bearing 
and, above all, by personal courage. Speaking of 
him at this time, Governor Blount of the Territory 
said, "He is the most remarkable man I ever met. 
If he lives to attain the age of fifty nothing can 
prevent him from becoming one of the most dis- 
tinguished political characters of America.'* 

Tennessee was ready for Statehood about the 
time of Claiborne's advent. Although but twenty- 
one years of age at the time, he was elected a mem- 
ber of the first constitutional convention. With the 
organization of the State, Sevier was chosen the 
first Governor of Tennessee, and one of the first 
acts of the first Legislature was to elect young 
Claiborne to the highest office at its disposal, — 
Judge of the Superior Court of Law and Equity. 
In the short time he served on the bench he won the 
esteem and admiration of the bar, many of whose 
members attained subsequent national celebrity, 
most of whom were his seniors in age and experience. 
His judicial career, however, was brief, for he was 
soon elected to Congress. 

Here it was that Claiborne, the brilliant young 
Congressman, repaid the kindness and encourage- 
ment shown to Claiborne, the struggling youth. 
Thomas JeflFerson and Aaron Burr had received 
the same number of votes for the Presidency. Con- 
gress was called upon to decide between the two. 

240 Wiit ^allep American 

Claiborne stood unswervingly for the "Sage of 
Monticello " in the face of all overtures from the 
opposition and practically cast the deciding ballot 
that made Jefferson President. 

Claiborne, thus far, had rendered service in the 
judiciary and legislative departments of govern- 
ment. He was now to serve in the executive. Far 
to the southwest, the Territory of Mississippi had 
been formed with Winthrop Sargent as Governor, 
as has been stated. When the demand for Sar- 
gent's removal arose and was acceded to, Jefferson 
selected Claiborne for the important trust of bring- 
ing harmony and contentment to the dissatisfied 
residents and restore to order the temporary chaos 
of protest and opposition to authority there 

Claiborne arrived at Natchez, November 23, 
1801, and at once entered upon the duties of his 
oflSce. The various histories of Mississippi unite in 
tribute to the very able manner in which he ad- 
ministered affairs. His stay, however, was all too 
short to satisfy the many friends he made there, for 
he was called upon to undertake the delicate 
mission of representing the Federal Government in 
the formal ceremony of transfer by which Louisiana 
came under the dominion of the United States. 
His was also the duty to establish American author- 
ity over the purchased region, as its first appointed 

The purchase of Louisiana gave to the United 
States its first problem of expansion. The action 

Mn €arlj> ^mtxitan iHeUing ^ot 241 

of Congress in legislating for a distant and under- 
rated people was a step towards imperialism. If 
the historian of the future be called upon to analyze 
and to trace to their origin two political ideas which 
the founders of the Republic never had in mind — 
expansion and imperialism — he will find the root 
points of both buried in the soil of the Louisiana 

For the United States acquired with Louisiana 
something more than an increase of territory. 
There came with the land a people faithful to older 
ties and indifferent to the newer; a people high 
tensioned with the pride of race, watchful of slight, 
sensitive to every semblance of disparagement, 
humiliated by the fact of having been sold with the 
soil as serfs. 

To govern a people foreign in thought to those of 
the rest of the Union, a people sullen with the sense 
of a just grievance against the authority he repre- 
sented; to educate and instruct this people in the 
ways of the hated Anglo-Saxon and establish over 
them with as little friction as possible a form of 
government radically different from the Latin 
polity to which they had been reared, these were 
the tasks imposed upon Claiborne when the Ad- 
ministration at Washington sent him from Missis- 
sippi to Louisiana. Rare, indeed, must have been 
his insight, infinite his tact to have succeeded as he 
did in softening asperities, harmonizing discords 
and bringing about a true union of sentiment be- 
tween Louisiana and the rest of the country. He 

242 Wi)t ^allej* i^merican 

lived to see animosity die out, sullenness turned to 
smiles, hate and disapproval change to esteem and 
admiration. He was not of the people's selection 
when he entered upon the duties of his administra- 
tive office; but he was their choice when they had 
the privilege of electing the first Governor of their 

Americanism seems to have been the keynote to 
Claiborne's character. His legislative messages 
approach intensity of feeling in his frequent refer- 
ences to the blessings of civil liberty as established 
by "the fathers of our country," "the illustrious 
founders of the Republic, " etc. They are held in 
continuity by a chain of adjurations to the people 
to conserve and perpetuate the institutions of free 
government. They furnish a course of specific 
instruction in the science of government according 
to American interpretation. They point out the 
necessity for education, liberalmindedness and 

The representatives of a free State [said he in his farewell 
message], should consider the diffusion of knowledge as an 
object of primary importance. . . . They should give 
publicity to the character which defines with accuracy and 
allots with precision the powers of the different branches of 
government; to the laws severally enacted, and to the 
various subjects which, from time to time, may occupy 
their deliberations. But of all things care should be taken 
to rear their youth into paths of virtue, science and patriot- 
ism, that those who are to succeed to independence and 
self-government may know how to estimate, how to use, and 
how to conserve their great heritage. 

^n €arlj> J^merican iHelting ^ot 243 

These are the words of a statesman and a patriot, 
spoken more than one hundred years ago, as appHc- 
able to-day to the aHen in our midst whose Ameri- 
canization we are seeking to bring about as they 
were when first spoken. For be it remembered 
that the lower Valley of that time was a melting 
pot into which the polyglot went in and the Ameri- 
can came out. The elements of population were of 
greater variety than that which characterized 
any other section of the United States. For to the 
descendants of the original French and Canadian 
settlers had been added from time to time Aca- 
dians, Malagan and Catalonian Spaniards, Ger- 
mans, French Revolutionary and San Domingo 
refugees, Canary Islanders or Islenos, with a 
sprinkling of English and several types of 

Every social grade was represented from half- 
savage boatmen and hermit herdsmen of the in- 
terior prairies to the chevaliers, counts, barons and 
marquises of the most elegant nobility of Europe. 
It is not surprising then that a pot with such racial 
contents should sputter and boil over at times 
under the heat of political controversy and partisan 
debate ; that years would have to elapse before there 
could be even an approach to a homogeneity of 
community aims, efforts, interests and desires. 
Claiborne found the solution to America's first 
problem of expansion, discovered the way to deal 
with foreign and alien peoples when these were 
taken under the aegis of the United States. His 

244 ^t)^ "Fallep American 

solution lay along the lines of tact, instruction, 
sympathy and gradual assimilation, with the 
emphasis on instruction. His methods were those 
of justice, understanding and the "square deal." 



TN the year that the Federal Union of thirteen 
States was completed and Washington was 
serving his first year as President (1790), the 
population of the United States was approximately 
four million. Of this number less than five per 
cent were living west of the Appalachian Mountains. 
Aside from the settlements of East Tennessee 
which were more or less extensions of those of the 
back counties of Virginia and North Carolina, the 
populated areas of marked extent west of the 
mountains, and belonging to the United States, 
were three in number. The first covered some 
twelve thousand square miles in the mid-region of 
Kentucky, no part of which had a greater density 
of population than an average of eighteen persons 
to the square mile. The second was an area on 
both sides of the Cumberland in middle Tennessee, 
of twelve hundred square miles, with an average 
density of population of less than six. The third 
lay along the banks of the Ohio and Great Kanawha 
Rivers in what is now West Virginia, covering 
about eight hundred square miles, with an average 


246 Wf)t "^allep American 

density of population somewhat less than that of 
the Cumberland settlements. 

There were also three inhabited areas of lesser 
extent. One lay along the Mississippi in south- 
west Illinois — remnants of the old French settle- 
ments with a few English and American additions. 
A second was around Vincennes, Indiana, with a 
population similar to that of the Illinois settle- 
ments but with the American element more in 
evidence. A third was in southeastern Ohio where, 
in 1788, General Rufus Putnam of Revolutionary 
war fame and his "Ohio Company of Associates" 
had planted the town of Marietta — the first pioneer 
settlement in Ohio. 

Marietta, however, antedated the beginnings of 
Cincinnati by only a couple of months. It is 
recorded that John Cleve Symmes, a wealthy 
Jersey man, bought a large tract of land in what is 
now the southwest part of Ohio, for speculative 
purposes . The site of the present city of Cincinnati 
was sold by Symmes to Mathias Denman, who 
associated with himself Robert Patterson and 
John Filson, assigning to each a one third interest. 
Filson was an ex-schoolmaster and, as an original 
contributor to geographical nomenclature, seemed 
to have gone the old Jeffersonian State-naming 
Committee one better. " Losantiville " was his 
creation, — L for Licking; os, meaning opening or 
mouth; anti, against or opposite; ville, town — the 
town opposite the mouth of the Licking River. 
It did not retain this name very long, however, for 

^i^t ^preabing Mabe ^peebs; 0n 247 

General St. Clair, Governor of the Northwest 
Territory at the time, changed it to Cincinnati, 
after a newly organized secret fraternal order of 
Revolutionary War veterans. 

It is to be noted that in addition to these six 
definite areas of occupation there were also several 
distant outlying posts such as Detroit, Mackinaw, 
Green Bay and Prairie du Chien, and a scattering 
of isolated blockhouse communities — salients 
thrust into the wilderness to stem the tide of 
Indian attack. 

No fiercer contest for possession of the soil was 
ever fought between races than that waged in the 
early pioneer days between the whites and Indians 
of the Northwest Territory. The settlers of Ken- 
tucky and Tennessee by the time Ohio began to be 
occupied were in position to deal retaliatory blows 
for every attack made by Indian raiders from 
north of the Ohio or south of Tennessee. But the 
settlers north of the Ohio were upon the home 
ground of fierce and warlike tribes, were open to 
direct attack and continual harassment and were 
ever compelled to be alertly on the defensive. 

Moreover, the Kentuckians and Tennesseeans 
were of a general type that had fought the wilder- 
ness and its dangers for generations, while on the 
other hand, the early settlers of the Northwest 
were, many of them, from the oldest established 
communities of the East, accustomed to all the 
protective advantages of law and civilization. To 
their glory be it said that they proved themselves 

248 Wi^t '¥alUp l^merican 

true spiritual heirs and descendants of those earliest 
of American pioneers, who, after landing upon the 
bleak coasts and finding themselves surrounded by 
savage enemies, shouldered their guns when they 
went to church and bore their weapons with them 
when they plowed their fields. 

Between the years 1790 and 1795 every block- 
house in the Northwest Territory was practically 
in a state of continuous siege. The Indians were 
encouraged and aided in their depredations by the 
British, who still retained possession of Detroit 
and other posts, notwithstanding the war of the 
American Revolution had long before been ter- 
minated and the agreement to give up these posts 
had been incorporated in the treaty of 1783 which 
had ended that war. 

General Harmar, attempting to put an end to 
the intolerable conditions prevailing, was defeated 
in battle with the Indians in the Maumee country 
(1790). General St. Clair with a poorly equipped 
and undisciplined force met with a similar fate 
shortly after (1791). But "Mad Anthony" Wayne 
hero of Stony Point, "the Chief who never sleeps," 
sent west to retrieve the two previous disasters, 
defeated the hostiles crushingly at the battle of 
Fallen Timbers near the falls of the Maumee. 
The Treaty of Greenville which followed (1795) 
brought a relinquishment of a large part of the 
Territory embraced in the present State of Ohio 
and a peace which lasted for some time. It is stated 
that Chillicothe, Ohio, founded during the year 

Wi)t ^preabing Maiyt ^peebg 0n 249 

following this treaty, was the first town west of the 
mountains to be established without fear of Indian 

During the first decade of the Republic, there was 
a steady expansion of the several occupied areas 
and an addition of two other population groups, — 
the Natchez district, and the Alabama settlements 
north of Mobile, which had come into the posses- 
sion of the United States by the boundary treaty 
of 1795. By the year 1800, there were also twenty 
or thirty settlements, numbering all told about 
thirteen hundred souls, in the "Western Reserve" 
of Connecticut along the southern shore of Lake 
Erie. It was as agent of the Connecticut Land 
Company that Moses Cleaveland settled in the 
heart of this country, at the mouth of the Cuyahoga 
River, giving his name to the city which sprang up 
on this site. The spelling of the town's name was 
intentionally "simplified" to Cleveland by the 
printer who first issued a newspaper in that locality 
whose headline required the elimination of one 
letter to fit the space (1830). The simplified form 
has been retained ever since. 

In the decade following the San Ildefonso 
Treaty (1800-1810) there was a phenomenal 
growth in the population of all areas mentioned, 
and much spreading out around isolated posts. 
With the purchase of Louisiana there were acquired 
an inhabited strip twenty miles wide along the 
west bank of the Mississippi from the mouth of the 
Missouri to a point opposite the mouth of the Ohio; 

250 Cfje ^^allep ^mtvitan 

settled areas in central, northeast and southeast 
Arkansas, and an occupied territory covering fully 
two thirds of what is now the State of Louisiana. 

This decade marked the real beginning of 
America's second city, Chicago. As early as 1778 
it is stated, a French trader named Guarie had a 
little hut and corn patch on the bank of the Chicago 
River at what is now Fulton Street. The first 
accredited settler, however, is believed to have 
been an educated free negro, Jean Baptiste Point 
du Saible, who came originally to Louisiana as a 
refugee from Santo Domingo. Making his way up 
the Mississippi, he finally located at *'Eschikagou " 
(1779). He is described as "handsome, educated, 
pretty wealthy and drank freely." 

Du Saible in 1796 disposed of his holdings to a 
Canadian trader named Le Mai. Meanwhile, in 
drawing up the Treaty of Greenville, General 
Wayne had wrung from the Indians a concession 
six miles square at the mouth of the *'Chekagou" 
River. In a few years Captain John Whistler of 
the army was ordered to build and occupy a post at 
"Chicago." He and his son accompanied by their 
wives — the first white women to set foot on the 
present site of Chicago — arrived via St. Joseph, 
Michigan, and found four cabins occupied by Cana- 
dian-French traders, each with his Indian wife. 
The post established by the Whistlers was called 
Fort Dearborn. The next year John Kinzie, wife 
and infant son moved from Niles, Michigan, the 
first white family of a number to follow. He 

Wi)t ^preaiJing Maht ^peetisi 0n 251 

bought the Du Saible-Le Mai cabin and enlarged 
it. Kinzie's subsequent career was so identified 
with the early growth and development of the town 
that sprung up around Fort Dearborn that he has 
been called "the Father of Chicago." 

Sixteen years of comparative security followed 
the Treaty of Greenville. In this period Ohio 
developed so rapidly that it reached Statehood 
(1803) long before the period ended. But the wave 
of population continuing to spread northwest- 
wardly soon found itself encountering Indian 
hostility in Indiana. Here, Tecumseh, chief of the 
Shawnees, and his brother the Prophet fomented a 
general uprising. Tecumseh visited in person the 
Creeks and other tribes of the south to persuade 
them to participate. The Prophet, contrary to 
instructions, ventured battle before the return of 
the absent warrior-chief. William Henry Harrison, 
Governor of Indiana Territory, who had collected 
a force in anticipation of the Indian outbreak, won 
so decisive a victory over the hostiles at the mouth 
of Tippecanoe Creek (November 7, 1811) that the 
Indian power was broken. Tecumseh upon his 
return was compelled to take refuge with the 
English, serving them well in the "War of 1812" 
that followed. Years after, the slogan of Har- 
rison's successful campaign for President of the 
United States, with John Tyler of Virginia as 
his running mate, was " Tippecanoe and Tylers 

The seeds sown by Tecumseh in Alabama soon 

252 tirJje "^allep !3merican 

bore fruit. Hostilities began with the Indian 
massacre of Fort Mims, near Mobile. A short but 
decisive war followed. General Coffee of Tennessee, 
General Floyd of Georgia and General Claiborne' 
of Mississippi, the last named reinforced by the 
friendly Chief Pushmataha and his Choctaw 
warriors, hastened to the scene and each in succes- 
sion administered disastrous defeats, the battles 
taking place at Tallushatchee, Autossee and 
Enotachapco. General Andrew Jackson, com- 
mander of the southern district in the War of 1812 
against England going on at that time, brought the 
Indian war to a triumphant conclusion by an over- 
whelming victory on March 27, 1814, at Toho- 
peka, or Horseshoe Bend . The power of the Creeks 
was thus as completely broken as was that of the 
Shawnees. Direct overland roads to the West 
long closed were thrown open to the rush of the 
oncoming settlers, by this twofold annihilation of 
Indian opposition, while much rich land was made 
available for white settlement. 

Successive treaties which extinguished the Indian 
titles to lands in Western Georgia, Alabama, 
Mississippi and Tennessee and opened the way to 
the Mississippi River, so that the people of the 
States of the lower Atlantic seaboard could join 
freely in the Western pioneering movement, may 
be briefly enumerated as follows: 

1. The treaty of Fort Jackson (1814) by which 

' Not the Claiborne who had been governor of Mississippi Territory 
and who now was Governor of Louisiana. 

Wt)t ^preabing Mabt ^pttba 0n 253 

the Creeks gave up a large central Alabama area 
and moved eastward to Georgia. 

2. The treaty of Doak's Stand (1820) by which 
the Choctaws relinquished 5,500,000 acres in 
Mississippi and Western Alabama to white settle- 

3. Creek treaty of 1821 surrendering one half 
of the Creek lands in Georgia. 

4. Treaty of Indian Springs (1825) by which 
all remaining Creek lands in Georgia were to be 
given up. The western or "Red Stick" Creeks 
repudiated this action of the eastern branch. 

5. Treaties of 1826, 1827, 1828 bringing final 
settlement of the disputed Creek land cession of 
1825, extinguishing all Creek titles east of the 
Mississippi, and providing for removal west, the 
last remnants making the crossing to their Western 
home in 1837. 

6. Treaty of Pontotoc (1832) by which the 
Chickasaws surrendered 6,283,804 acres in North 
Mississippi and Southwestern Tennessee to white 

7. Treaty of Echota (1835) by which the 
Cherokees ceded all their lands east of the Missis- 
sippi for an equal area west with five million dollars 
granted them as an extra consideration. The last 
of the Cherokees, 14,000 in number with their 
1300 negro slaves, were escorted westward by 
United States troops in 1838. 



VV/ITH the opening up of a direct route through 
^^ Alabama, there began to mingle in the west- 
ward movement a migratory element somewhat 
different from those already engaged in the work of 
Western empire building. The first settlers of 
Ohio were, as a rule, from the Eastern States. 
They were of fair education, were opposed to 
slavery and were for that reason naturally drawn 
to the section dominated by the Ordinance of 1787. 
They went West with their destination predeter- 
mined, entertaining from the first a fixed idea of 
making a permanent home wherever they might 
locate. They were disposed to migrate in gi'oups 
or colonies, endeavoring thereby to transplant the 
social atmosphere of their old neighborhood to 
their new surroundings. Such transients as ap- 
peared in their midst from time to time, aside from 
the land speculators, business-location seekers and 
curiosity-driven travelers, were people who simply 
tarried to break their journey to a decided-upon 
point farther West. 

On the other hand the early settlers of Kentucky 


J3lanter=$ioneers; in tde ILotoer "^allep 255 

and Tennessee were largely colonial Westerners 
before they became trans -Alleghany Westerners. 
They included not only the home-building, thus- 
far-and -no-farther type of immigrant, but a larger 
quota of speculators, business-seekers and transient 
adventurers of various kinds. In addition there 
was an element characteristically impermanent 
and of considerable proportion as to numbers. It 
included, first, the true hunter-frontiersman type, 
men who located deep in the wooded areas where 
game abounded, clearing only such land as their 
limited needs required, their log-cabins, a tempor- 
ary home only, moving when the crowd came or 
the section became "hunted out" to where they 
could have larger "elbow room" and a virgin meat 
and peltry supply. 

Then there was the "squatter" type, — adven- 
turers too poor to purchase surveyed lands at even 
the low public land-ofiice prices, but with hope, 
grit and brawn for capital. These cleared a holding 
in the wilderness, "making a living" on it until, 
in time, came the rightful owner with his govern- 
ment title, to dispossess them. The squatter, 
however, according to custom, received a fair price 
for his improvements and his labor of clearing and 
fencing. With the amount thus realized he was 
able to make a first payment on land in some other 
locality for his own account. Here he would go 
through the same routine of developing his holding, 
but in this case he would dispose of land and im- 
provement both to a newcomer who had money 

256 Wf)t "^allep American 

but had not the inclination to undergo the pre- 
liminary hardships required to bring wild land into 

Sometimes these squatters would be enterprising 
enough to invest the proceeds of such sales in low- 
priced mast-fed pork and in farm products suffi- 
cient to load a small home-made flatboat and go 
upon what to him was a great adventure upon a 
long drift voyage to New Orleans. By peddling 
his cargo along the river and selling his flatboat at 
the end of his voyage, an ex-squatter sometimes 
made a "turn -over" of nine or ten hundred dollars, 
sufficient to put him in the looked-up-to class as a 
capitalist in a small way, or to insure for himself a 
permanent position in some rapidly growing 

Lastly there were the inheritors of the wander- 
lust from those forebears whose ceaseless seeking 
out of frontier and mountain fastness from colonial 
times down had imparted to their descendants a 
restlessness which could be eased only by change. 
These knew not where they were going but were 
ever on their way. A long chain of geographical 
experiments had to be performed in the laboratory 
of their desires before they could arrive at any 
formula for fixedness of abode. Said one of these 
wandering comets before he became a satelite 
revolving in a fixed orbit about an early center of 
civilization: "I was born in Culpeper County, 
Virginia, raised in North Carolina, got religion in 
Tennessee, married in Madison County, Kentucky, 

$lanter=$ioneer£f in tfje Hotoer "^allep 257 

and am now settled in Missouri." The terms in 
which his spirit interpreted its restlessness, had for 
a refrain "... always onsatisfied with the farm- 
ing business; always sorter honing arter game." 

Or take the life history of an early Arkansas 
pioneer. He was one of the six sons of a tavern 
keeper of Buncombe County, North Carolina, who 
at twenty reached the standard set by the family 
before a son could marry, which was that he be 
either of age or six feet three inches in height. 

His capital was a "likely" young nag, a dollar 
"bell" and a good "rifle-gun." He put his wife 
on the nag with some household fixings, principally 
quilts and "kiverlids, " and took the trail to the 
West. Reaching the last cabin on the border of the 
*' Indian Country" he went six miles farther on, 
"squatted," made a crop, and laid up a supply of 
dried venison and bear bacon. 

The Indians becoming threatening in the spring, 
he returned to his old home but becoming restless 
for more adventure he again set out, reached the 
Tennessee River, exchanged his horse for a canoe 
or dugout, loaded his wife and belongings thereon 
and began the long voyage that took him to his 
destination. He did the steering, while his wife 
alternately knitted and paddled. Fish and game 
were so abundant all along the way that never a 
high-cost-of-living problem was theirs to ponder 
over. They entered the mouth of White River, 
took the "cut-off" to the Arkansas, made their 
way up that stream to a point near the modern 

258 Wt^t "^aUep l^merican 

site of Little Rock, where they pitched a "half- 
faced" camp, and afterwards remained. 

The wife kept her shuttle and spinning wheel 
busy. Their table in the course of time held the 
good things of life, according to their standard, — 
bacon, cabbage, buttermilk and corn bread in 
abundance with wild honey upon occasions. The 
only rule of conduct for their sons that were brought 
into the world was the husband's admonishment to 
his wife, " 'Tis my wish they never give the lie nor 
take it." 

The subduing of the Creeks and the successive 
extinguishment of Indian titles gave opportunity 
to the large slaveholders of the Southern seaboard 
States to move to rich bottom lands of Alabama 
and Mississippi, and even farther west to Louisiana 
and Arkansas. Very little was known in those days 
about scientific agriculture, soil conservation, rota- 
tions of crops, etc. When fields became exhausted 
and plantations worn out, it became the practice 
to move to the more fertile, newer regions where 
the deep alluvial soil was inexhaustible and the 
returns from slave labor would be highly profitable. 
Thus there were many movings of planters with 
their whole household and labor outfits to the delta 
lands along the Alabama and Mississippi Rivers 
and the Louisiana bayous.^ Wherever these 

* Included in the family estates of the present writer is "the old 
Calhoun Place" better known as "Florence Plantation," having a fron- 
tage of three miles on the Mississippi in the south-east corner of Ar- 
kansas. It was brought into cultivation in the early part of the nine- 
teenth century by a member of the famous South Carolina family 

J^lanter=$ioneer£{ in tfje Hotoer '^alltp 259 

planters located, economic conditions were estab- 
lished unfavorable to the pioneer non-slaveholding 
settlers that had already come in from the various 
districts of South Carolina and the counties of 
North Carolina. These were bought out if their 
lands were desired or were crowded to the hills and 
bluff-lands contiguous to the alluvial flats, where 
they became "piney-woods folks," as distinct a 
type as are the "Crackers" of Georgia, or the 
mountaineers of the Appalachian highlands, and 
as purely and persistently "Anglo-Saxon" as these 

Kentuckians and Tennesseeans of the second 
generation and even some of the first, when they 
felt the urge to move farther westward, most fre- 
quently took a northwesterly course to Indiana, 
Illinois or beyond to the Missouri country. There 
were slaveholders among the early settlers of 
Kentucky and Tennessee, but it was not upon so 
large a scale as was practiced in older States, such 
as Virginia and South Carolina. The prohibitive 
feature against slavery in the original Ordinance of 
1787 would sometimes be evaded by an owner 
moving to Indiana or Illinois, putting his slave 
under a labor contract or articles of indenture for 
a term of ten or fifteen years, before crossing the 
Ohio. But no prohibition against slavery was in 

indicated in its original name. It stands to-day, although cultivated 
by tenant-labor instead of slave, practically unchanged from what it 
was when first reclaimed, and is one of several remaining evidences of 
the westward treks of sea-board slave-holding planters, occurring when 
cross-country travel was freed of its obstacles and dangers. 

26o ^t)e "Fallep American 

force in Missouri, and that section therefore became 
the Mecca of slaveholders who sought new agri- 
cultural opportunities in the Northwest. There 
were also migrations of both planters and small 
farmers to the southwest when the Natchez and 
Baton Rouge districts were opened and the banks 
of the lower Mississippi became more and more 
familiar to the boatmen and produce-raisers who 
visited New Orleans after the Louisiana purchase. 
In the days before levees, with the exception of a 
few high spots on the banks of the Mississippi, a 
broad belt of swamps facing the eastern edge of 
what is now the State of Arkansas made progress 
due west into this section quite diflBcult except by 
boat up the several Arkansas rivers flowing into 
the Mississippi. When Arkansas began to fill up 
with settlers, therefore, it was as an eddy where 
the tide of population flowing Missouri-ward 
swirled around the southwest, until direct ways of 
reaching the State were made more practicable 
than the slow up-stream one by way of the Arkan- 
sas, White and St. Francis rivers. This southwest 
movement from Missouri was stimulated when 
the American colonization of Mexico-owned Texas 
began (1821), Moses Austin of Missouri and his 
son Stephen being among the earliest empressarios 
employed by Mexican authorities to promote this 



TTHE Puritan gave New England to civilization; 
'*' the Cavalier, Virginia: but in the winning of 
the earlier West, the Scotch-Irish stand supreme. 
They came originally to America in numbers 
sufficiently large to make of their migration as 
significant a movement as was that of the Puritans 
before them. They were the first venturers into 
the intricate valleys of Western Virginia; the first 
to populate the plateaus of Western North Caro- 
lina; the first to force the fastnesses of the Appa- 
lachians, and the first to drive the wedge-thrust 
into the mid -region beyond, which, parting the 
pressure of Indian hostility to northward and 
southward, gave to Tennessee and Kentucky their 
places in the sun. 

The Scotch-Irishman as a pioneer and empire- 
builder was distinctive. His inclination was to- 
ward individualism. His chief characteristic was 
assertiveness. His principal passion was for self- 
sufficiency. His cherished religion was of the 
somber, austere type, renunciative of worldly 
enjoyments and in vocative of terrors to come. His 


262 Wt^t ^allep American 

colonial and pioneer experiences, however, wrought 
much modification of these traits. The dangers 
and hardships of the Indian country taught him 
lessons of cooperation and mutual dependence 
such as had never come within his ken before. 
Then it was that individualism and communism 
warred in his nature until a neutral balance was 
struck. He worked with his kind for the good of 
all; he went it alone when impulse drove and 
conditions invited. 

It must not be inferred, however, that he was 
alone in his work of Western exploitation. Others 
differing from him in race, in religion, and in per- 
sonal characteristics were ever at his side. The 
Pennsylvania German, the Virginia Cavalier, the 
South Carolina Huguenot were often in evidence, 
wherever there was any hewing into the wilderness 
to be done. Methodist and Campbellite and Bap- 
tist flung creed-challenge to his Presbyterianism, 
in many a Western community. Nevertheless, 
he was the leavener of the lump of Western pioneer 
activities. His was the spirit of the West that 
prompted mass-rule to challenge class-rule to the 
end that a democracy more broad, more real than 
Tory or Federalist ever feared or eastern Republi- 
can ever conceived, might obtain in the land of 
broad America. 

A broad survey of life and its conditionings in 
the early West reveals well-marked stages of de- 
velopment and progress. There was, first, what 
might be called the Era of the Blockhouse through 

tIDfje HajJjf of tfje WiUitxntii Mimtxsi 263 

which every community had to pass when planted 
in the face of Indian menace. Settlements estab- 
lished after the Indian power was broken fortu- 
nately escaped this courage-testing, nerve-trying 

These blockhouses singly and clustered into forts 
and posts were salients thrust into the wilderness 
to bear the brunt of Indian attack. In their isola- 
tion they were as feudal castles. But where the 
latter were fortresses, fear-inspiring and oppressing 
series from which predatory barons swooped down 
upon defenseless peasants in toll-taking and food 
confiscating raids, the former were citadels of civili- 
zation, protective of the surrounding community, 
a shelter for those who emerged only to engage in 
the punishment of marauders or, when permitted, 
to pursue the humbler occupations of peace. 

Following the blockhouse era came the period 
of all others the most interesting for its very 
picturesqueness. It was the period when the Per- 
manent mingled with the Transitory, with Father 
Time working the sifter. It was the period when a 
community life of scattered units took inchoate 
form but had yet to reach the stage of compactness, 
so that labor might divide into specific per- 
formances; callings, diflferentiate, and industries 
bring workers into cooperative groups. 

It was also the period when newcomers were 
hospitably helped if their home-seekings were not 
as yet ended, or neighbored, if their decision was 
to remain in those parts ; where distraction from the 

264 ^ft^ "^aUep American 

business of merely living were so infrequent that 
toil itself was levied upon to supply excuses for 
social gatherings in the way of divers "frolics"; 
log rollings, quilting bees, etc. Men were judged 
more for what they could do than for what they 
had. Brawn frequently brawled but good nature 
and a grimly humorous tolerance more frequently 
prevailed. Aspirations towards the refinements 
were as yet rudimentary, but ambition towards 
betterment of every kind was unceasingly intense. 
Ingenuity and invention were faculties of forced 
growth and mental alertness and physical stamina, 
gingered by personal courage, were developed as 
readiest solvers of Life's survival-of-the-fittest 

The typical pioneer of the earlier West ! He was 
at his best in Central and Western Kentucky and 
Tennessee and in Southern Indiana and Illinois 
during the closing years of the eighteenth century 
and well into the nineteenth. He has been described 
in contradictory terms by a line of first-hand 
observers with more or less reportorial accuracy. 
Emphasis has been placed upon his best and 
worst qualities according to the mood, prejudices, 
sympathy, tolerance or deeper understanding of the 
observer. A generalization of terms applied to 
him reveals more of praise than of disparagement. 
Such accusatory attributes as "brutal," "over- 
curious," "trickily-inclined," "extravagant," 
"boisterous," "ignorant," "improvident," "reck- 
less," "superstitious," "unclean," "intemperate," 

t:f)e mavn of tf)e muttxnt^^ mimtxi 265 

"vulgar" are more than ofiFset by the commenda- 
tory, "brave," "hospitable," "impartial," "enter- 
prising," "practical," "industrious," "ingenuous," 
"reserved," "shrewd," "simple-natured," "sen- 
sitive," "versatile," "watchful," "tolerant," 
"self-respecting," "reverently-inclined" and 
"eminently democratic. " 

One cannot go very far wrong in estimating him 
as an upstanding, self-confident, loyal-to-his-own, 
able-to-take-care-of-himself personality, in whose 
veins coursed the red-blood synonymous with 
impose-not-on-me manhood and in whose ab- 
dominal cavity reposed a complete outfit of those 
organs which in circles of lesser politeness are 
coupled with take-no-dare courage. 

One may, with reason, conclude that he re- 
sponded promptly to all the influences and forces 
that operate upon human nature, particularly the 
elemental ones, giving way to them with abandon 
when impulses ruled or inhibiting their action when 
his iron will decreed. One may, in truth, appre- 
ciate that his roughness came in part from forebears 
who themselves were roughened by their life ex- 
periences, and, in part, from the roughening 
processes of his own sought-out environment. 
Finally, one cannot help but admire his innate 
ability to grow in grace and develop in his social 
adjustments according as his surroundings grew 
and developed. One cannot withhold tribute to 
the virility with which he transmitted this ability 
to his descendants. The pioneer stock which grew 

266 ^f)e "^allep lamerican 

such fruitage as the Lincolns, Jacksons and Clays 
of the West was fundamentally a sound one upon 
which to bud refinements and graft accomplish- 
ments in keeping with the requirements of a more 
advanced society. 

The original pioneer's outfit when he went alone 
or with a male companion into the wilderness 
consisted of rifle, tomahawk or short-handled axe, 
dirk or hunting knife, a supply of powder and 
bullets, flint and steel, and sometimes a modicum 
of salt. With these, he won for himself food, 
shelter, clothing and surplus products for exchange. 

His rifle was of heavy barrel but of small caliber, 
sparing of powder and lead. Waste of ammunition 
was serious enough to be considered by him almost 
criminal; therefore, he schooled himself to perfect 
marksmanship and to accurate knowledge of vital 
spots in game where single shots would tell. Did a 
youthful hunter kill a squirrel without hitting it in 
the eye, he concealed the fact in mortification; to 
miss altogether was unthinkable. 

Wherever there were saplings to cut, bark to 
strip and boughs to gather, the pioneer's axe yielded 
him both hut, "half -faced" camp or lean-to struc- 
ture for his domicile and cushionings of twigs and 
branches for his sleeping couch. His knife was a 
veritable many-in-one tool. Its use in skinning 
and pelt scraping gave him his buck-skin garments, 
his bearskin robes and his coonskin caps; in whit- 
tling, his rude household conveniences. Its length 
and keenness gave him advantage at close range 

Wht Ma^i of tf)c liilbernejSfi; mimtvi 267 

over animal and human foe alike. Having rifle, 
axe and knife to wield, he was naturally wedded to 
the woods, for there he could the better stalk his 
game, hide from danger, and wrest from nature 
contributions to his well being. Nearness to a 
spring, "lick" or stream had also its appeal. 

Did his wife or family accompany him upon his 
migratory venture, his outfit as given would natur- 
ally be added to. His axe would then be of full size. 
One or two handle-less tools, for digging and 
shaping — the handles of wood to be made later — 
some quilts for bedding, some seeds for planting, 
a bag of meal and a side of bacon for emergency, 
a big baking of "journey-cake"^ as a gustatory 
bridge over which to pass to the regular wilderness 
fare, some linsey-woolsey for clothes until nettle- 
bark flax could be garnered and the backwoods 
loom begin its weaving, a "skillet" or cooking pot 
for luxury, all on pack horse or in primitive wagon, 
did the route decided upon permit the latter — gave 
him and his the basis upon which to found their 
future home where they were to make in time 
prosperity their own. 

Under these circumstances, which called for 
larger exertions, he sought also the wooded areas 
in which to establish himself and family, first 
because of the advantages mentioned, and next, as 
he looked forward to agriculture as his principal 

' Although etymologists do not as yet accredit the well-known South- 
ern culinary masterpiece, "Johnny-cake" as a derivative of this term, 
yet there is good reason to believe it a negro-pronounced variant of the 
journey-cake of old pioneering days. 

268 tIDfje liTaUep American 

means of subsistence after the game resources of 
the region became exhausted, the soil that grew 
the hardwoods, in his opinion, was the soil that 
would produce most abundantly. His first task on 
arrival at the point of location was to rear his log 
cabin; his next was to fell the smaller trees and 
girdle the larger until a clearing sufiicient for his 
plantings was made. Lastly came protection for 
his crop for which he split rails and laid them zig- 
zag into "worm" fences. 

With wooden, handmade, maul and wedge he 
divided logs into crude, thick planks or puncheons 
for his floors, doorways, tables, benches, shelves 
and bedsteads. Corn being, at first, his principal 
crop, until the coming into his neighborhood of 
hand, horse power or water mill, he hollowed him- 
self out a mortar-like "hominy block," swung a 
heavy wooden pestle attached to a well-sweep 
device above it and with up and down motion 
cracked and pulverized the grain to the required 
fineness for his pones, hoe-cake or corn bread. 
Acadians in far-off Louisiana evolved the same 
combination to hull and clean their home-grown 
rice for household consumption and its use in some 
parts of that State continues to this day. 

The Kentucky settler dressed his deerskins for 
garments by scraping and smoking them, or 
tanned them for leather by the longer process of 
soaking in water mixed with ground oak-bark. 
He dried and smoked the meat of large game until 
his wealth and affluence was indicated by a burst- 

Wf)t iHaj>£; of tfje ©Kilbcrnegsf MinnM 269 

ing larder of venison hams and strips of bear- 
bacon. He used deer suet and "bear's grease" in 
his cooking, for his cabin illumination and in his 
soap-making. "Bear's oil" as an adjunct to his 
toilet he learned from the Indians. He was a 
natural-born whiskey maker, as are to-day the 
descendants of coordinate branches of his race in 
the "moonshine" sections of the Appalachians. 
He did not always exercise his talent in this direc- 
tion, however, for whiskey was so abundant all 
over the Western section wherever corn was grown 
or rye harvested that supplies could always be 
dickered for to better advantage. And always in 
dickering he knew the test to apply in order to 
determine the liquor's quality or price — a small 
quantity of melted tallow poured on the surface of 
the liquid tested . If the tallow floated , the whiskey 
was worth, say, six cents a pint; if it sank, eight 
cents, the principle being that a smaller spirit 
content increased buoyancy. 

Did the early settler do any traveling, whatever 
might be his destination or purpose, a supply of 
whiskey served as an excellent and compact stock- 
in-trade with which to meet the expenses of his 
trip, to open the doors of courtesy, to oil the cog 
wheels of business contact or to cement the bonds 
of new friendships. When the traveler put up at 
an "Inn" he took his jug to his room with him.^ 

' As a specimen of the broad humor of those early western ways and 
days that led observing travelers to their pronouncements of "coarse- 
ness," there was a stereotyped dialogue, knowledge of which stamped 
one as to the manor born. It was rehearsed whenever two, utter Strang- 

270 ^f)t "Fallep American 

It will be remembered that when Abraham Lin- 
coln's father moved to Indiana, after having 
pioneered in Kentucky sufficiently long to couple 
the honor of his illustrious offspring's birthplace 
with that to-be-envied State, his equipment con- 
sisted of but little more than a kit of tools and 
several barrels of whiskey. 

And when community life came in with the 
arrival of other settlers, what a spirit of neighborly 
cooperation was awakened in this early Westerner ! 
He joined with his fellows in "house raising," 
"log-rolling" and other occasions where the in- 
dividual was helped in tasks too taxing for the 
strength of one. The toil of all was lightened by 
the jollity of these "frolics." The opportunity to 
imbibe freely of "Blue Ruin," "Fool Water," 
"Cider Royal," "Bug Juice," etc., pioneer slang 
for the raw whiskey hospitably supplied by the 
host, probably accounts in large part for the ex- 
cellent attendance of voluntary workers. Upon 
occasions drawing large gatherings, he competed 
with his kind in wrestling matches, horseracing, 
gander-pulling, shooting-matches or turkey shoots 

ers to each other, were assigned to the same room or bed in an over- 
crowded inn. "Stranger," one would say to the other upon retiring, 
"It's been a mighty long time since you and me slep' together. "Yep" 
was the regulation reply, "Got the same old smell you used to have."" 
"Youbet!" "Air you as lousy as ever?" "That's me. Put her thar!" 
With which the handclasps of mutual and admiring introduction and 
acquaintanceship would follow and the never-empty earthern jug with its 
corn-cob stopper be reached for to furnish the liquid for a "night-cap" 
prior to parting in spirit, each to go his snoring way to the land of 

'^i)t mayi of ti)t Milbttnti^ Mimtxi 271 

and cock fighting. In this last, however, he was 
outdistanced by the Creoles of Louisiana, who had 
developed the sport into a near-state occasion. 

The Westerner of pioneer times met the frictions 
of offensive contact, sometimes with rough-and- 
tumble fighting in which eye-gouging, thumb- 
chewing, knee-lifting, head butting and other 
infringements of the "Marquis of Queensbury 
Rules, " were permissible. At other times he fought 
with dirk or hunting knife, which weapon all 
Westerners of type carried. He was over-prone 
to dueling and observed faithfully its several 
punctillios — witness some of the famous duels of 
Western history, precipitated by bitter political 
rivalries. Can we blame him for his superpride 
in his own physical prowess, for his impulse to 
injure when fired by resentment, for his decision 
to kill under the hot provocation of real or fancied 
insult? How often do we see his prototype in 
instinct but not in directness of method, prideful of 
what power they possess, pleasuring that others 
are weaker than themselves, maiming and injuring 
their fellow man in spirit, purse and person by their 
price-manipulations, "lamb-shearings," compe- 
tition-destroyings and trust-squeezings. To each 
one in his own habitat seems it to be given to man 
to hold more than his own, to get the better of his 
fellows, that the car of so-called progress may 
journey on. 

The one diversion that contributed most to the 
early settler's joy of living was dancing. Both 

272 tE^fje "^allep iSmerican 

sexes were passionately addicted to it. Every 
frolic included it. Every "raising," "rolling" and 
bee ' ' ended with it, provided a fiddler could be had . 
And these backwoods fiddlers, what autocrats were 
they ! And how eagerly hospitality was extended to 
them whenever they, like the troubadours of old, 
might wander, for they brought news and gossip 
which they gathered from near and far and had an 
unlimited fund of anecdotes and experience on tap. 
Word of a fiddler's advent spread promptly 
around the neighborhood. He was sent for from 
far and near. He "carried the tune," "called the 
figgers " and kept up a running fire of witty repartee 
all at the same time. He bestowed humorous 
criticisms and advice upon the dancers in succession 
as they came under his notice. Sometimes he 
would meet his fellows from miles around in a 
"fiddler's contest," the palm of victory going to 
the one who could play without pause the longest, 
or knew the greatest number of tunes. These 
tunes often went by ludicrous names. " Soap Suds 
over the Fence, " "The New Cut Road, " "Turkey 
in the Straw " and " You Buffalo Gals " were among 
the favorites. These contests were sound riots, 
rhythmic "jags," tonal debauches, as it were, but 
withal, were they the "Music Festival" of more 
elegant times in its rudimentary stage. From such 
primitive beginnings did the Valley grow to keenest 
appreciation of Theodore Thomas and his famous 
orchestra and of the wonderful symphonies of the 
great composers of all time. 

tIDfie Mav^ of tfie Miltittntii Minntva 273 

But on with the dance ! The one most frequently 
indulged in and the one in which all alike, both old 
and young, could participate was a so-called 
"square" or "contra" dance in which the "gents" 
ranged themselves on one side of the room and the 
"ladies" lined up on the opposite. In some com- 
munities it was similar to what came to be known 
as the Virginia Reel, giving ample opportunities to 
each individual dancer to display his agility in 
"double shuffle," "pigeon wing," "grape vine" 
and other more strenuous "steps," while "hands 
around" and "ladies' chain" at frequent intervals 
would put all into rhythmic, hilarity-creating 
motion. In other communities it was more on the 
order of the quadrille that is still danced in Western 
rural neighborhoods with its "swing corners," 
"gents sasshay, " "do-ce-do" (dos a dos) and other 
"calls" to be responded to. 

At the "Falls of the Ohio," now Louisville, a 
society of some refinement was in evidence as early 
as 1795, a time when things were very much in the 
rough in other parts of the West, for Samuel For- 
man, the chronicler of Ezekiel Forman's migration 
from New Jersey to Natchez, describes a ball 
taking place there at the time of his passing through 
in which the stately minuet was danced by officers 
from the nearby forts and the belles of the town. 
In far-off St. Martinsville, on the Louisiana frontier 
of the lower Valley, the emigre aristocrats from 
France were indulging in the same dance. But 
what a long stretch of rough wilderness bridged the 

274 ^t)^ "^al(ej> American 

distance between these two centers of saltatorial 
refinement ! 

However, "the world, the flesh and the devil," 
under which generalization prunes-and -prisms puri- 
tanism seems to bunch all enjoyments of existence 
in which it finds no pleasure, did not always have 
full sway unchallenged. Came in time the itinerant 
preacher and circuit rider of sin-lashing tongue and 
crude but stirring eloquence; skilled sweeper of 
emotion's chords, voicer of sorrowing wails for 
penitence unsought, shouter of hope's hosannas for 
salvation won. Came with him pulpit poundings, 
dance denouncings, urgings to more seemly ways. 
Religion's message crudely given by him was made 
to fit the crudities of time and place. The camp- 
meeting then came into its own. It filled a social, a 
sociological, a religious need for a larger area than a 
single community. For unlike the dance, which 
was purely local, it drew attendance from distances 
of those who would arrive in divers and various 
vehicles and who would take up their abode during 
the meeting, in camps or "tents" grouped about 
a central, thatched and open tabernacle, where 
services went on, protracted, morning, afternoon 
and night, for a week or more. 

In the intervals between services came the 
picnic-like meals and f eastings. In these, the back- 
woods housewife of culinary skill reigned supreme 
and beamed hospitality upon all who would share 
the bounty of her "tent." O brother of unbounded 
grace but meager sustenance, hewing your way in 

®f)e May^ of tfie mUhtvne^i mimtxsi 275 

the wilderness of Faith, as were doing your 
scattered flocks in the wilderness of fact; who in 
your circuit-ridings over long, lonely stretches 
found often echoing in your weary heart the old 
protesting cry of the birds having their nests, 
foxes their holes, but the Son of Man having not 
where to lay his head ! Now was come your season 
of physical cheer as well as spiritual exaltation. 
The gustatory piece de resistance, long anticipatory 
subject of your waking hopes and dreaming desires, 
is in plethoric evidence around you. The "yaller 
legged chicken" has been butchered to make for 
you a holiday. On all sides will you find it "stewed 
up in gravy " or fried to luscious crispness. Choose, 
brother, and for the time, turn trencher-man ! 

The backwoods camp-meeting was an institu- 
tion of triune function, social, intellectual, religious. 
Here music took the form of hymn singing to 
satisfy the soul with sound. Here swaying to the 
rhythm of hymn gave muscular content with no 
after sin-sting of the church-defying dancing. Here, 
he who craved for notice of his kind — a frequent 
failing of poor, weak human nature — could have 
the spot-light turned his way by standing up in 
self -confessing, self -convicted wickedness and plead- 
ing for the prayers of those already "saved." 
Here, for a time, life's dull drudgery was forgotten; 
interest, sustained; curiosity, fed. The mourners' 
bench was a stage setting; its successive occupants, 
actors upon the scene. The "jerks" of those who 
"got religion" were indeed *'action" — absorbing, 

276 ^i)t ^allep American 

interest-compelling. The "holy laugh" from some 
"elect " who had reached in spirit and suddenness a 
peak of emotional exaltation, sounding across tense 
silences, between bursts of oratory, awakened 
thrills few dramas on a worldlier stage inspire. At 
some rare moment patiently worked up to and 
waited for from the beginning, the spiritual waters 
of the congregation's joint consciousness would be 
stirred to storm by sudden touch of passing pinions 
as powerfully sustained exhortation winged its 
oratorical flight to fervid heights. Then rule, 
Hysteria and multitude, give tongue, wailing, 
shouting, supplicating for mercy. Divine but un- 
deserved! Plead then, all sinners, shriek your 
terror at the pictured tortures Eloquence so vividly 
conjures! Leap, contort, roll in abjectness in the 
straw under foot until the peace of reassurance and 
physical exhaustion shall come to mind and body ! 
For so shall you contribute to the successfulness of 
the occasion which will be judged in retrospect by 
the number thus brought to grace and by the ex- 
tent of fullness to which conversion's record has 
been fed. 

Follow now, adjournment, dispersal — mere 
memory of rich feasts — physical and spiritual — 
refectoried at Religion's teeming tables. And time 
shall pass and this memory become dim; and the 
old ungodly cravings and world-temptings shall 
slowly return to be again given way to and to 
be again confessed at the next camp-meeting. 
Thoughts and ways and indulgences will be almost 

Efje Mapi of ti}t Milhtrnti^ Mimtx^ 277 

as they were before. But the soil's compactness 
will have been stirred about starved roots of dull 
existence and from this stirring will come growth 
to higher spiritual and intellectual realizations. 


war's test of the west 

'T'HE so-called Westerner of the early years of the 
nineteenth century was given an exceptional 
opportunity to try his metal when the second 
war with England was forced upon the United 

Altogether, the events of that war leave little to 
the patriotic American over which to boast, if 
exception be made of the long and almost un- 
interrupted line of victories on sea by which the 
infant American navy surprised the world. But 
on land the chronicle is one of wretched un- 
preparedness ; of opening disasters and continued 
ineflBciency; of mutinous militia and insubordinate 
commanders; of disheartening secession-threats 
and opposition to plans and conduct of defense ; of 
our national capital seized, our public buildings 
desecrated and burned and the officers of our 
national government scampering in hot haste into 
the interior. In all the military operations confined 
to the Atlantic coast and the New York-Canadian 
frontier, there shine over the dark waters of defeat 
and disaster only the beacon lights of Chippewa, 


Chalmette Battle M onument 

(From photo by Stanley Clisby Arthur) 

Commemorating Jackson's Victory over the British in the War of 1812, in the so- 
called " Battle of New Orleans." 

Mafi ^eist of tfje Mtit 279 

Lundy's Lane, Baltimore's defense and Fort 
McHenry's defiance. 

But carry the eagle, figuratively speaking, west 
of the Alleghanies and see it perk up and scream 
exultingly. True, the abject surrender of Hull at 
Detroit was mortifying, but the disgrace was more 
than retrieved by William Henry Harrison at the 
battle of the Thames. True, the treacherous 
massacre of Kentuckians at the River Raisin 
clouded the record of Western invincibility, but the 
successful defense of Ft. Meigs against overpower- 
ing odds by Harrison and of Fort Stephenson by 
twenty-one-year-old Croghan quickly removed the 
shadow. The refreshing fact is worthy of note that 
Kentuckians, Tennesseeans and other Westerners, 
whether as militia or individual volunteers, never 
quibbled as to the manner of their serving, never 
balked at being sent beyond the confines of their 
State when the larger need of the needy nation 
required it. Inspired by judgment and impulse 
alike they went unquestioningly where there was 
fighting to do. It is due to this Western spirit that 
we now have in January 8th a day second only to 
July 4th in its commemorative associations, upon 
both of which days the American people may well 
ponder upon the duties of citizenship in times of 
war and upon the triumphs of patriotism which 
come of war's duties well performed. 

There is no estimating what disasters may have 
befallen the American cause in the War of 1812 
had England from the first been in position to 

28o tBf)t "^allep American 

concentrate her energies upon this side of the 
Atlantic. Only the close of the Napoleonic wars 
in Europe with the imperial Corsican sent to his 
temporary exile upon Elba's isle made it possible 
towards the latter part of 1814 to release for service 
in America some seasoned troops whose discipline 
and developed prowess under the great Wellington 
made them all but invincible. Thus it was that 
England found herself in position to embark in a 
venture almost foreordained to success. This 
was nothing more nor less than crushing for all 
time the budding power of the United States by 
wresting from that country possession of its Valley 

The larger half of this area was to the British 
mind doubly subject to British conquest. The 
title of the United States to Louisiana was open to 
challenge in view of the broken agreement involved 
in its sale. If Louisiana did not rightfully belong 
to the United States, it was still French property. 
This view made of Napoleon a bunco-artist upon an 
imperial scale working an international gold-brick 
game upon the American republic with consum- 
mate success. In either case, Great Britain being 
at outs with both France and the United States 
could prey upon this territorial morsel. 

If reversion of title were made further back to 
Spain for France's non-performance of considera- 
tion in the San Ildefonso treaty, then Great Britain, 
having Spain for ally, could well embark in the 
work of righting her ally's wrong. Easy then 

91ar'£{ Zt&t of tije aiegt 281 

would it be to win the Valley to herself by right of 
her own, single-handed conquest supplemented by 
some pussy -foot diplomacy. 

The English, moreover, had been led to believe 
that the Louisianians were thoroughly dissatisfied 
with American rule, that they were ripe for revolt 
and that they were ready to welcome a change to 
British domination. So the forces of England 
gathered at Jamaica, — troops that had with more 
or less success played havoc along the shores of the 
Chesapeake, seasoned veterans dispatched from 
Europe and two black regiments from Great 
Britain's West India possessions, constituting in 
all a formidable array. 

None knew the exact destination of this expedi- 
tion or the first point at which it intended to strike. 
New Orleans, however, felt vague premonitions of 
impending danger and was greatly concerned over 
the apparent indifference of the United States 
government to the city's need of defense. Only 
four companies of regulars and half a dozen light- 
draft vessels, masquerading as gunboats, were 
stationed there. The commander-in-chief of the 
Southern District, the soldier-lawyer, Andrew 
Jackson, was absent at the time in Alabama punish- 
ing the Creeks. 

How little did the English estimate the true 
temper and attitude of the Creoles. These still 
were idolizers of Napoleon, notwithstanding the 
setting of his star, and it were folly to surmise 
that foes of France could as yet be other than foes 

282 ^i}t ^allep American 

of Louisiana. However, as danger of attack and 
fear of capture and pillage grew, it was deemed 
expedient by the leading citizens of New Orleans 
to make a solemn declaration of patriotic senti- 
ments in order to strengthen the weak-kneed. A 
committee was therefore called together. It was 
headed by Edward Livingston, one-time mayor of 
New York City, who had moved to Louisiana 
immediately after the purchase, and had as mem- 
bers Pierre Toucher, J. A. Destrahan, Dussan de la 
Croix, Auguste Macarty, D. Bouligny, Benjamin 
Morgan and George M. Ogden. This committee 
drew up ringing resolutions exhorting all to a unity 
of thought in rejecting any and all seductive offers 
that might be made and pleading for a unity of 
purpose in marshaling every effort in the common 
defense. The exhortation wound up with, 

"... the enemy to whom you would have the weakness 
to yield, would subject you to a mililary despotism, of others 
the most dreadful; your estates, your slaves, your persons 
would be put in requisition and you would be forced at the 
point of the bayonet to fight against these very men [the 
Americans] whom you have chosen voluntarily as fellow 
citizens and brethren. Beloved Countrymen, listen to the 
men honored by your confidence and who will endeavor to 
merit it; to the voice of honor, of duty, and of nature! 
Unite; form but one body, one soul, and defend to the last 
extremity your sovereignty, your property — defend your 
own lives and the dearer existence of your wives and 

In passing, let it be said that in all the time the 
British were operating along the Gulf Coast, not 

Mar'sf tBtit of tfje Mt^t 283 

one white recruit from Louisiana joined their forces, 
notwithstanding the tempting inducements and 
promised emoluments repeatedly held out. 

To establish a base of operations, a small British 
force descended upon Fort Bowyer, at the entrance 
to Mobile Bay, but upon being repulsed retired to 
Pensacola. The Spanish authorities of that place, 
contrary to the laws governing neutrality, were 
disposed to sympathize actively with the would-be 
invaders and to promote their comfort and con- 
venience in every way, as the Napoleonic Wars 
had brought Great Britain and Spain together in 
a common cause. But Jackson, throwing inter- 
national law to the winds and loathe to resort to 
the slow red-tape process of diplomatic protest, 
ending, possibly, with only a figurative wrist- 
slapping, plunged across the Florida line, took 
prompt possession of Fort Barancas defending 
Pensacola, and was about to turn its guns upon 
Spanish and English alike, when the latter retired 
to their ships. It was then that the British objec- 
tive was transferred to New Orleans, to which city 
Jackson soon repaired to make provisions for its 

A few years previous, Louis Victor Moreau, 
Marshal of France, hero of Hohenlinden, exiled 
from his native land because of alleged complicity 
with Pichegru, in a conspiracy to pull Napoleon 
down from his imperial pedestal, was a feted guest 
of New Orleans that loved everything French and 
worshiped every French military genius irrespective 

284 Wtt "^allep ^mtxican 

of partizanship. A street bore his name for almost 
a century; many children of New Orleans were 
named in his honor. One of these was Louis 
Moreau Gottschalk, the first musical virtuoso and 
composer of world-wide acceptance produced by 
the American continent. In being escorted over 
the plantations below the city General Moreau 
halted at a certain point and remarked to his hosts, 
"Gentlemen, if you are ever called upon to defend 
your city, here is where your line of defense should 
be placed." These words were afterwards re- 
peated to General Jackson and, it is said, confirmed 
him in his selection of the ground where fortifica- 
tions were erected and the final stand made to 
repel the British attack. 

Escorted by a splendid squadron under Vice- 
Admiral Cochran, the English army of investment 
sailed from Jamaica, November 24, 1814, and 
arrived on the Louisiana coast eighteen days later. 
There was a spoil to be had — more than $15,000,000 
of sugar, cotton and other products having accumu- 
lated in the New Orleans warehouses during the 
war. Therefore, scores of large merchant ships 
accompanied the fleet to carry off these spoils. 
There was possession of a great domain to be taken 
and a new government to be installed. Therefore, 
a full assortment of civic officers were in readiness 
to fill the political positions to be created. An 
official printer with type and press to print the 
orders, proclamations and documents of the new 
government was included in the outfit. Over all 

maf^ Ztit of tfje Mtsit 285 

was to be some officer of distinction to act as 
governor or viceroy of the great new English 
Mississippi Valley province which was to realize 
La Salle's old dream and extend England's power 
and dominion from Canada to the Gulf, constrict- 
ing the United States in extent to what that coun- 
try had once been in earliest colonial days. 

Was there any question as to the outcome? 
Could any but the feeblest resistance be expected 
of the polyglot population of the lower Valley, with 
the executives of the distant Federal Government 
not yet recovered of breath after their recent race 
from Washington? Could any force the Americans 
might muster withstand the precise, disciplined, 
practiced onslaughts of self-confident veterans 
fresh from Europe's most famous battlefields? 
Blind, blind, those that see not in past disasters 
that which presages future caution ! And Braddock 
but a little more than a half -century 's memory ! 

The question was, who was to be the Duke- 
Regnant or Executive-Earl or Viceroy of England's 
new India in the heart of America? Lord Welling- 
ton was first thought of. "The troops which 
constitute this expedition," said he, "would have 
to be very badly managed if they did not succeed 
in any enterprise they might undertake." So, 
evidently, Barkis was willing. But Wellington 
was not selected. Two of the greatest "if's" of 
history went on record when it was decided not to 
entrust him with the new American expedition. 
If the "Iron Duke" had directed the English on 

286 W\it "^allep ^mtxitan 

Chalmette's historic field, would the Iron Will of 
Jackson have prevailed? // other than Welling- 
ton — he being away viceroying in Louisiana — had 
waited at Waterloo, would Blucher's blunder un- 
redeemed have brought victory to Bonaparte? 

One or two other names were considered but the 
choice finally fell to Sir Edward Michel Pakenham, 
brother-in-law to Wellington, and one of the most 
popular of the younger officers in the English ser- 
vice. Of high military reputation, in the full flower 
of his manhood, he had fought in as many battles 
and received as many wounds as any man of his 
age in the army. Fate dealt him indeed a cruel 
blow when she sent him to his death amidst the 
marshes and levels near the Mississippi's mouth. 

December 23, 1814, sees General Keane and a 
division of the English army stealing quietly up 
Bayou Bienvenue, nine miles below New Orleans. 
The gunboats on Lake Borgne defending the bayou 
approaches to the city had been swept aside or 
destroyed. On the same day three English and 
five American commissioners are meeting in the 
Hotel des Pays-Bas, in far-off Ghent, Belgium, to 
arrange the final details of a treaty which the next 
day was to end hostilities, officially, and would 
have ended them in fact, could its signing have 
been cabled instantaneously over the world, as 
would be the case to-day. 

Jackson is in the city itself. His U. S. regulars, 
884 in number, are in Ft. St. Charles at the lower 
river corner of the Old French Quarter. The U. S. 

Mat* Si Ztit of tJje Mtit 287 

Mint now occupies the spot. General Coffee, who 
by forced marches had recently arrived with his 
Tennesseeans from the Creek country, is camped 
five miles above the city. General Carroll, after a 
famous flatboat trip by river from Nashville, has 
just arrived at Coffee's camp with another con- 
tingent of Tennesseeans. Major Plauche, with the 
Orleans Battalion of 365, locally raised, is six miles 
from headquarters doing duty at the mouth of 
Bayou St. John, the stream that connects Lake 
Pontchartrain with the rear of the "old" city. A 
battalion of " f ree-men-of -color, " destined to do 
valiant service, is three miles away on the Gentilly 
ridge halfway between the city and Lake Pontchar- 
train. Evidently, approach of the English by way 
of this lake is anticipated. Jackson's scattered 
forces in all number 2325. 

Let us attempt to visualize the events that 
follow. Jackson's pickets at Bayou Bienvenue 
have been taken by surprise. The English, with 
the advance guard of their army, are in possession 
of the Villere plantation nearby, in whose mansion 
they hold its occupants prisoners. One of these, 
Major Gabriel Villere, is in the depths of mortifica- 
tion, chagrined because of falling so easily a 
prisoner. He is a Creole and Creole patriotism is 
on trial. His had been the duty to warn; his now 
to face for all time the accusation of faithlessness to 
trust. The fate of the city, of the Mississippi 
Valley, is in his hands. Desperate indeed is his 
determination either to meet death or escape. He 

288 ^Ije ^allej) American 

leaps from a window, is seen, is followed to the 
swamps, where he takes refuge. Pursuit comes 
close. Foes surround him. He mounts to the dense 
foliage of a cypress tree. His favorite setter — poor, 
dumb, faithful beast — comes whimpering to the 
foot of the tree, whining its betraying sympathies 
to its worshiped master above. Nothing to do 
but descend, dispatch without sound but not with- 
out agony of regret the beloved companion of so 
many joyous outings, then hasten again into 

Pursuit dies down. The fugitive reaches by 
stealth the riverside, crosses over, is supplied with a 
borrowed mount, gallops madly up the riverside 
road to a point opposite the city, recrosses the river 
and rushes to Jackson's headquarters. He is ac- 
companied by Monsieur de la Croix and Colonel 
de la Ronde. It is half-past one o'clock in the 

The General is occupied with the careful examina- 
tion of certain documents. The three are ushered 
in. "What news do you bring, gentlemen.^" 
"Important, highly important!" replies de la 
Croix. ' ' The British have arrived nine miles below 
and are encamped at Villere's plantation." 

Major Villere launches at once upon the narra- 
tive of his experiences. He speaks in his mother- 
tongue. De la Croix translates. The General 
draws himself up to his full height. "By the 
Eternal! They shall not sleep on our soil." And 
again, to his Secretary and aides present, "Gentle- 

mav'i Ztit of ti)e Mtit 289 

men, the British are below. We must fight them 

Follow hurryings in hot haste. Ah, Keane, 
leader of the British advance, experienced soldier, 
veteran under Abercrombie, Moore, and Welling- 
ton ! Take now your lesson in the art of war from 
this farmer-lawyer-general who has never before 
in his life commanded even a regiment of regular 
soldiers. Would he, in your place, have paused 
nine miles from his objective, with no enemy in 
sight, the original intent being sudden surprise .^^ 
New Orleans were yours, had you but had the 
genius and initiative to move quickly when Villere 

A half a century later the cardinal principle of 
war as laid down by that Westerner, the Confeder- 
ate General, N. B. Forrest, was to be humorously 
formulated into "The feller that gits thar fustest 
with mostest men whips." The grim American 
commander is instinctively acting up to this prin- 
ciple. His apparent inaction while waiting for the 
enemy to reveal his landing place is now a thing of 
the past. Aide after aide receives his instructions 
and flies to do his bidding. '* Tell General Carroll to 
move to the head of Bayou Bienvenue and stop 
the enemy, should he attempt to advance from that 
point." Bayou Bienvenue approaches very near 
the actual limits of the city. " Governor Claiborne 
do you take post with the State militia out on the 
Gentilly road and repel any attack in that quarter." 
"My compliments to Major Plauche and request 

290 ^Jje "^allep iSmerican 

him to hurry his command to the city and join the 
general advance." Major Plauche's command 
covered the distance of six and one half miles in 
record time. To-day the young aspiring athletes of 
New Orleans annually on the 8th of January com- 
memorate this famous run by a Marathon of their 
own over the entire distance following the exact 
route of this eager-to-serve battalion. "Coffee's, 
Plauche's and d'Aquin's battalions" continues 
Jackson, "Hind's Dragoons (from Mississippi) 
and the Orleans riflemen with the 7th and 44th 
Regulars will assemble at once and proceed to 
Villere Plantation." 

In three hours' time the dispositions are com- 
pleted. The General bestrides his horse just out- 
side the Fort St. Charles gate. The troops pass 
him in review. First, the 44th Regiment of Regu- 
lars, then, the 7th, next Beale's Rifles — sixty picked 
men keyed up to a pitch of highest daring and eager 
to play their part, leading merchants, lawyers and 
other professional men, some in the ruffled shirts 
of the dandy, all in citizen clothes. 

Now the Tennessee riflemen with handsome 
Coffee at their head march by — 563 determined 
men. Next Jackson's half-breed attendant Pierre 
Jugeat with his Choctaw scouts. Then, after a 
pause, come in at double-quick from one of the 
cross streets Plauche and his men after their long 
run from the lake, to be greeted with a gleam of 
admiring approval in the General's eye. Hinds' 
Mississippi Dragoons next swing into view. Lastly, 

SSlar's; ^es;t of tfje Mtit 291 

the colored battalion, led by their white comman- 
der, Major d'Aquin — 210 " free-men-of -color, " one 
of whom unnoted by Fame, unrecorded by History, 
is to be the direct instrument of Lord Pakenham's 

Thus moves the medley array determinedly 
upon its nine-mile march. The enemy's camp-fires 
come into view at nightfall. How secure he seems 
to feel himself ! A fresh English division is arriving 
by the bayou and is embarking. Deliberation and 
preparedness, evidently, are the order of the day. 

The dark of a December night has descended 
early. Seven o'clock has arrived and all is well. 
The Americans are silently taking position. Half- 
past seven and a shot is fired from the direction of 
the river. It is from the American schooner Caro- 
line that has dropped down and taken an enfilading 
position. There is now much scurrying in the 
English camp. The nearness of the Americans 
seems to be detected for the first time. The British 
form hastily and advance in the dark. It is 
bayonet work now — charge and counter-charge 
and hand-to-hand fighting. Long knives and 
tomahawks are wielded effectively by skillful 
Western hands. Fog and smoke blow into the 
faces of the combatants. In vain the British try to 
outflank the American line. Volleys of pistol shots 
and small arms with occasional booms of larger 
guns are heard in medleys of sound. Jackson is in 
the thick of it, acquiring courtly grace of body, as 
he declared afterwards, by having to bow so often 

292 t!Dfje "^allep i^merican 

to British bullets whistling about him. Soon the 
sounds of battle die down. The British retire to 
their camps; the Americans to their laurels. Well- 
ington's hitherto invincible veterans have been 
met and have been halted. So ends the "Battle of 
Dec. 23rd." 

Follow, now, a few days of pause and lull. The 
English bring up the remainder of their forces. 
The Americans drop back two miles and throw up 
their famous line of entrenchments from river 
straight back to swamp. Sefior Rodriguez, Isleno 
that you are, your name is to sound forever down 
the corridors of time as having had excavated the 
canal or ditch behind which the American breast- 
works are run. 

Some cotton bales are seized to make padding 
for the embankment. Mistake. These bales 
struck by solid shot will bounce about in manner 
quite disconcerting. They will be taken out, 
broken open, contents spread upon the muddy 
ground and made into bedding for the defenders. 
The English, too, put up lines of defense. They 
use hogsheads of sugar confiscated from nearby 
plantations. Another mistake. Wood splinters 
under shell fire are wound-inflicting. Sugar 
scattered on boggy ground makes sticky mixtures 
far from agreeable. 

Meanwhile Pakenham, himself, has arrived and 
taken command. He marshals his cohorts and 
advances in formidable array. His troops are 
inspired with the belief that the march to the city 

Mafi Zt^t of tfie Mt^t 293 

had at last begun. "This is something like, " think 
they. They drive back the American pickets. 
Opposition .f^ Pouf ! See how it fades away. But 
what's that.f* Long lines of battlement with guns 
a-mount and glinting rifles pointing death ! Again 
is action, resulting in progress, stayed. The ad- 
vance resolves itself into merely a "reconnois- 
sance in force." Ends thus the affair of Dec. 28th. 

Council is now held, — Keane, Gibbs, Lambert, 
Pakenham. Heavy guns have been brought up. 
Let the artillery clear the way. Ordnance against 
ordnance fight their duel of January 1st. Ah, but 
those pirate gunners of Lafitte, risking their necks 
to nooses in rallying to their country's need ! Truly 
they serve their pieces well! And the gunners of 
the Caroline now doing duty, their vessel having 
been put out of action ! Jackson is as fortunate in 
his Louisiana artillerymen as he is in his Western 
riflemen. The British guns are silenced. Uncer- 
tainty of procedure descends upon the camp of the 
enemy. The engagement of Jan. 1st ends with 
issue still undecided. 

Cocky old Cochran of the waiting fleet sends his 
sneering inquiries. Why the delay .f* What's the 
matter with the army.^^ Comes also his threat to 
send 2000 of his "bully boys " to clear the way. If 
the army cannot fight, it can follow in the rear of 
the tars and carry the luggage. Pakenham and his 
officers are stung to unwise decision. Siege ceases 
to be the word; storm and further action are now 
stressed. Fate, guarding the Calendar of Time, 

294 ^tJ^ "^allej* American 

dates a red card, "January 8th, " and holds it ready 
to slip into the slot of direst tragedy. 

Command is now, "Make ready for direct 
assault." To you, Colonel Mullens, the duty of 
providing fascines for filling yonder ditch and the 
ladders up which red -coated troops will scale to 

Mullens! O recalcitrant one! "When charge 
was loosed and pause was made on brink of halting 
ditch, and cries went up, " The fascines! The 
fascines! Where are they? The ladders! Why are 
they not in 'place? ""^ as brave and gallant men 
dropped helplessly to doom, did not these cries 
presage to you the anathemas of all time, that 
negligence of yours should make a once-proud host 
creep crippled back to Britain. "Oh, may I live 
till morrow" cried in agony the mortally wounded 
Gibbs, "that Mullens I might hang!" 

The Americans behind their breastworks await 
attack. They have now with them 2250 newly 
arrived Kentuckians led by Brigadier-General 
John Adair. Only 550, however, are equipped for 
battle; all are ragged, footsore and limping from 
their long march. Many of them had arrived in 
New Orleans pantless as well as panting, the sans- 
culottes portion of this backwoods contingent 
numbering more than half the force. The needs 
of these newcomers started swiftly plying needles 
of patriotic women to work. Eleven hundred and 
twenty -seven "pairs of pantaloons" were made 
for them from wool blankets in less than five days. 

Waf^ Ztit of tfje Mtit 295 

And now the battle of the immortal Eighth! 
How often has it been described ! Volumes repeat 
its every detail. What need to recount how serried 
ranks in close parade-like formation went up 
against expert marksmen in entrenched, ditch- 
protected position, each rifle-holder singling out 
his victim and potting his man as he was wont to 
do his game in far-off backwood haunts. Not per- 
functory firing, this, at wave of sword or word of 
officer; but studied slaughter. Keane wounded; 
Gibbs mortally hurt; Pakenham falling from his 
horse into arms that had caught the dying Ross at 
Baltimore^ ; regiments melting away as if swallowed 
up ; ground strewn for hundreds of yards with dead 
as close as stepping stones ! And inside the Ameri- 
can breastworks how small indeed the loss ! 

But better had fared the English flag on the 
opposite side of the river, where Colonel Thornton 
in a design to take a position enfilading Jackson — 
possibly to reach the city by a flanking movement — 
drove back the American forces stationed there un- 
der General Morgan. The failure of the main body 
against Jackson prevented Thornton from follow- 
ing up his victory, however, as he was compelled to 
join in the general withdrawal of the British forces 
to their ships, following the battle of the 8th. 

' Pakenham's eviscerated remains, preserved in rum, were shipped 
back to England. Such parts as were removed before shipment, were 
biu-ied at the foot of a pecan tree growing near the battlefield. For 
years following, the nuts of "Pakenham's pecan tree" went ungathered 
by the superstitious, who imagined blood streaks into their meats, 
witch-like record of a tragic disaster. 

296 ^f)t "^allep ^mtvitan 

By the 20th this withdrawal was sufficiently 
complete for Jackson to return in triumph to New 
Orleans. Follow, now, three days of congratula- 
tions and rejoicings. The 23rd was made a special 
day of thanksgiving, during which divine services 
were held, a Te Deum sung, the troops reviewed 
and congratulatory addresses and poems delivered 
and responded to. And all the while, the white 
dove of peace had been fluttering on its way across 
the ocean, arriving too late to stop the butchery on 
Chalmette's field. The flannel-mouth of Jingoism 
all but loses its proverbial function to bellow, 
whenever the War of 1812 comes up for discussion, 
but Jackson's defense of New Orleans gives it a 
pleasant morsel over which at least to mumble. 

No account of the battle of New Orleans can be 
fully written without recounting the part played 
therein by the so-called Pirates of Barataria. These 
were alternately smugglers, evading the laws of the 
United States, or privateers holding commissions, 
as they claimed, from Colombia and other prov- 
inces in revolt against Spain. Jean and Pierre 
Lafitte were the leaders of the Baratarians. Their 
place of abode was an island almost due south of 
New Orleans, surrounded by marshes but con- 
venient to the Gulf and all but inaccessible except 
to those who held the clues to the labyrinthian net- 
work of canals and marsh-ways leading to their 
island domicile. 

The English on their approach to the coast 
sought to enlist the Baratarians as guides and 

maf& tresit of tfje Mtit 297 

participants in the invasion under way, believing 
that, as outlaws, they would be eager to avenge 
themselves upon the authorities and government 
that had put them beyond the pale. Jean Lafitte 
was offered a captaincy in the British navy. Bribes 
of money and land were also tendered. Instead of 
accepting, Lafitte temporized and took advantage 
of delay by at once sending word to New Orleans 
that the British were come, that they had sought 
to bribe him and that so far from taking service 
with them, he and his followers were ready to give 
their lives to the defense of the city that had dis- 
owned them. 

Governor Claiborne was not disposed to deal with 
them but Jackson at once saw the value of their 
fighting experience, courage and skill in the han- 
dling of cannon. He therefore welcomed them. Led 
by Dominique You and Beluche they served the 
guns of Battery No. 3, doing such effective work in 
the battle of the 8th that Jackson was forced to 
exclaim, *'I wish I had fifty of such guns on this 
line with five hundred of such devils as those 
fellows are at their butts!" For their patriotism 
and services on this occasion a full pardon was 
extended by the President of the United States, to 
all of them who desired, thenceforth to settle down 
and lead law-abiding lives. Many of them availed 
themselves of the opportunity and their descend- 
ants now populate Cheniere Caminada and other 
islands about the waters of Barataria Bay. 


steam's solving of the up-stream problem 

rXACTLY six months and seven days before the 
'-^ war which ended on Chalmette's field was 
formally declared by Congress, there occurred on 
the river front at New Orleans an event of tremend- 
ous import to the West because of its bearing upon 
the phenomenal development of that region in the 
fifty years to follow. This was the arrival from 
Pittsburg of the New Orleans, the first steamboat to 
ply the Western waters and to challenge the snags, 
shallows, eddies, puzzling currents and other 
dangers of Western river navigation. 

Take a map of the United States. Conceive a 
gigantic right hand placed upon it, palm upwards, 
wrist resting on New Orleans. The thumb will 
represent the Ohio; the forefinger, the Mississippi's 
upper extention to Minnesota; the middle finger, 
the Missouri; the third finger, the Arkansas; the 
little finger, the Red. Consider the stretch of 
country embraced, the breadth of valley between 
far-flung mountain systems, the richness of the soil, 
the result of centuries of accumulation. In imagina- 
tion, as it afterwards came to be in fact, fill this 



S 5 

o< ^ li 

.B ja 




































•^ -^ 2 

to a 


•=1 S" 

^team*s; ^olbing of tfje Wip=B>tvtam problem 299 

valley in its every part with a people of tremendous 
producing energy whose products must find mar- 
kets. What stupendous possibilities of commerce 
should lie within the grasp of that mighty river- 
fingered hand ! 

Nature's intent was that this commerce should 
move southward when developed. Slope and 
surface-sweep and network of streams and currents' 
flow all made the lines of least resistance lead to 
the Gulf as nearest sea. Destiny decreed that 
America's greatest city should be that which 
commanded the outlet of America's greatest valley. 
The law of the making of world-great cities, for- 
mulated in antiquity and applied unvaryingly 
throughout the ages, ruled unerringly in the case 
of the city by the Mississippi's mouth. 

For this law ordains that where there is com- 
merce, there shall a city be; and where there is 
great commerce, there shall a great city grow up. 
And it shall be in choosing a site for a city, small 
or great, that it must be where commerce altereth 
its mode of transportation — ^from caravan to sail, 
from river boat to sea vessel, from rail to steamer, 
yea, even from car to wagon. And the city that 
shall receive great commerce at one gate, conduct- 
ing it with divers loud acclaims through marts and 
devious ways and with many writings in its Sacred 
Books of Trade, and then shall send this commerce 
forth from out another of its several gates — that 
city shall have privilege to take tithe to its exceed- 
ing fatness. Its towers and minarets shall rise to 

300 tlTije ^allej* American 

heights subHme, its temples viewed from dis- 
tances exceeding great. The faithful, dwelling well 
within its sacred walls, shall, self-sufficient, mildly 
purr, *'How crude!" likewise "Provincial!" when 
it be given them to pass on all that lies with- 
out. And morning, noon and night their muezzins 
shall be, "Of cities there is only one and ours 
is it." 

This break-in-transportation law for the upbuild- 
ing of cities was working full time and with splendid 
effectiveness in the Ohio and Mississippi valleys. 
As receivers, distributors and forwarders for rich, 
productive, tributary territory, Cincinnati, Louis- 
ville and St. Louis were forging to the front among 
great American cities. Pittsburg stood preeminent 
as the gateway to the Ohio Valley, occupying the 
strategical point where long trains of Conestoga 
wagons came in from the east to transfer their 
freights to river flatboats. Destiny's decree in 
regard to New Orleans was seemingly approved of 
the gods. Successive censuses taken at ten-year 
intervals from 1790 to 1840 placed her twelfth, 
ninth, seventh, fifth and finally third among Ameri- 
can cities. New York was beginning to feel nervous 
over her hitherto unchallenged primacy. Balti- 
more frantically clutched at second, lest this 
audacious oncoming Southerner relegate her to a 
place among the also-rans with Philadelphia and 
Boston. Truly it was a very pretty race for the 
Municipal Population Sweepstakes, particularly 
between the 1830 and 1840 posts, with New Orleans 

^team'jf ^olbing of tfje ^p=^tream problem 301 

and Cincinnati going "strong" and St. Louis 
warming up to make it interesting for Boston. 

Chicago.'^ Dear Inquirer, Chicago was but a fort 
and a bunch of huts in 1830, surrounded by mud 
and marsh so close to its portals that guests of its 
one hotel had to substitute duck and wild goose 
shooting from the hotel's front porch, for the game 
of pitching horseshoes, so dear to the rural heart. 
Its citizens were at that stage bucolic enough to 
burst with pride over the up-to-dateness of their 
newly installed private post-office-box, mail-de- 
livery system, which consisted of a row of old boots 
tacked upon the post-office wall, not the least merit 
of the system being the gambler's unsight-unseen 
thrill as each "box holder" thrust his arm down 
into the depths of his own exclusive bootleg, with 
the arrival of each infrequent mail. Mr. Census 
Man could not even see Chicago until 1850 and 
then it was with a look-who's-here ! expression. 
What a contrast indeed to the Chicago of to-day, 
Mighty Mistress of America's Inland Seas where 
the stupendous energies of the Central West con- 
verge and find local expression. 

As the century wore on towards its mid-mark, 
however, the gods of high decision nodded and 
Destiny went to dozing . Man with splendid initia- 
tive took the matter of city building in his own 
hands. He graved in the earth's crust a water- 
path from Lake Erie to the Hudson^ and lo! the 
Prince of Progress came to the Cinderella prairie 

' The Erie Canal began in 1817 and opened for traflSc in 1825. 

302 Wi}t ^allep American 

and timber regions of the Northwest and smiled. 
Here was the shortened route to the East and to 
Europe, without snag, shoal, portage or obstructing 
current. Here was a vast area tapped, whose 
climate made for human energy of most untiring 
type. And as time passed and argosies of soil and 
mine and forest were wafted over this route, Duluth, 
Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo 
and even New York as these cities exist to-day were 
made possible. 

The tentacles of steel reached westward from the 
Atlantic seaboard cities, setting at naught, by their 
uphauls over mountains, nature's barrier of gravity. 
They wound themselves around the trade centers 
of the interior and tugged at commerce until the 
river-grip was loosened. And when these reaching 
arms increased in number and paralleled the 
streams, then only did the struggle end and man 
win his triumph over nature in the contest of 
commerce carrying. 

Meanwhile, trade between the Ohio and the 
lower Mississippi valleys was increasing to enor- 
mous proportions in the years following the Louis- 
iana Purchase. It was not long before the flat- 
boats carrying this commerce were numbered in 
the thousands. An estimate of the amount of 
freight thus carried may be formed when it is 
known a flatboat was from 80 to 100 feet in length, 
12 to 15 in breadth, had a carrying capacity of 
from 600 to 800 barrels of pork and required a 
crew of five men to handle boat and cargo. 

steam's; ^olfaing of tfje Wip=B>tttam problem 303 

During the winter and early spring months an 
almost continuous line of these boats extended 
from the mouth of the Ohio down the Mississippi 
to where the cotton and sugar plantations began. 
From this point down, these boats, singly and in 
groups, would turn aside and tie up at the river 
bank, each displaying on a pole erected at the bow, 
what came to be known as the Wabash Coat of 
Arms — a mammoth potato, a large ear of corn, a 
golden-hued apple and a slab of bacon, pendant, 
with a bottle of whiskey, rampant, at the very top. 

Often one or two of such stops would be sufficient 
to dispose of the cargo to advantage, whereupon, 
were it the time before the steamboat, the owner 
would dispose of his empty flatboat for lumber, or 
other purposes, muster into services a pirogue, and 
proceed to New Orleans for a period of sightseeing 
or spreeing, according to his inclination. His 
return to the Ohio River country whence he came 
would be by land — a long, tedious journey, some- 
times over an Indian trace, during parts of which 
he would be in continuous danger from bands of 
robber outlaws always on the lookout for such as he. 

Again, a pioneer merchant or mercantile jSrm 
doing business fifteen or twenty miles back into 
the country would go down to the river bank, hail 
a flatboat, and, after considerable dickering, would 
contract to take over both boat and cargo. Word 
would then be sent to all the planter or farmer- 
customers of the firm, for each to make up a list of 
his needed supplies and come with his cotton to 

304 tE^Jje *^aUe|> American 

the river landing upon a specified day. The flour, 
cornmeal, hams, bacon and other articles in the 
cargo would thereupon be weighed and distributed 
to the customers while the cotton would be trans- 
ferred to the flatboat. The merchant or a member 
of the firm would accompany it to New Orleans and 
attend personally to the disposition of the boat and 
its second cargo — a thrifty way of saving on freight 
and earning two profits. 

The profit in raising cotton and sugar at prices 
prevailing in the earlier years of the nineteenth 
century fastened a one-crop system on the central 
Gulf States of the lower Valley that was to operate 
to their detriment while it contributed very largely 
to the prosperity of the upper Valley. With cotton 
at twenty -five cents and sugar at twelve; pork at 
eight dollars a barrel and flour at four and five it 
seemed folly to the planters to waste labor upon 
subsistence crops when it might be put to better 
profit into the so-called money crops. The Missis- 
sippi and Louisiana planters became, therefore, 
very good customers of the farmers and stock 
raisers of the upper portions of the Valley, which 
fact greatly stimulated the flatboat trade. And 
let it be noted that this trade was not limited to 
produce. Occasionally there would be a floating 
dry-goods store, or a blacksmith shop, or a slave 
trader or even a theater, that would find the drift- 
voyage down the river exceedingly profitable. An 
instance of this last was the Chapman family, 
famous from one end of the Valley to the other. 

Steam's; ^olbrng of tfje ^p=^tream problem 305 

father, mother, children and grandchildren sup- 
plying almost the entire cast of a floating theater, 
as early as 1826, that gave performances highly 
enjoyed, up and down the river. Their repertoire 
included Hamlet, Othello, Richard III and a number 
of melodramas. 

But all this immense trade was a one-way, down- 
stream trade. There was little reciprocity, no 
return cargo, except by keel boats, which were 
comparatively few in number and which, to operate 
up stream, required the strenuous toil of a day to 
be crowded at times into an hour. Every com- 
pleted voyage between distant points made by 
these keel boats up stream against the current 
might well be sung in saga or epic. Still the use of 
the keel boat, from the mouth of the Ohio up, to 
carry the trade rapidly developing between the 
Ohio River cities and St. Louis was compulsory 
until the steamboat solved the problem of an 
easier, speedier method of up stream navigation. 

The steamboat was the invention of John Fitch 
and was successfully demonstrated by him before 
his death and burial, which took place at Bard- 
storm, Ky., in 1798. Robert Fulton perfected the 
invention in its most practicable form up to his 
time, and doubtless, because of his success in bring- 
ing the steamboat into general use, is credited 
generally but erroneously with its original inven- 

Fulton associated himself with Robert R. Living- 
ston, ex-minister to France, in the manufacture. 

3o6 Wf)t "^allep American 

operation and disposal of rights to use "the Fulton 
boat." Nicholas J. Roosevelt, grand-uncle of 
Theodore, himself an inventor as well as an investor, 
with clear vision perceived the immense possibili- 
ties of the steamboat upon the Western rivers. 
He could get few to agree with him, however, as 
to the feasibility of using steam propelled boats on 
streams so fraught with perils and obstructions to 
navigation. To assure himself, he, accompanied 
by his wife, made a preliminary trip by flatboat 
from Pittsburg to New Orleans, during the course 
of which he gauged and sounded and recorded the 
depth of water as he went along, measured current 
velocities and studied conditions in both wet and 
dry seasons — the first systematic survey of a West- 
ern river on record. He also examined the banks 
from time to time for sources of cheap fuel and 
contracted for a supply of same to be delivered on 
the river bank at the needed time. 

Upon his return to New York, Roosevelt's report 
was so favorable and convincing that he was sent 
at once to Pittsburg to build an experimental boat. 
This was the New Orleans. Its dimensions were 
116 feet long and 20 feet wide; its cost, $38,000; its 
crew, a captain, a pilot, an engineer and six "deck- 

A great crowd of spectators saw the New Orleans 
depart. In two days it reached Cincinnati and was 
greeted with an ovation. At midnight October 1st, 
it reached Louisville, the sound of its escaping 
steam in the night causing consternation among 

Steam's; ^olbing of t'i)t Wip=^txtam problem 307 

those in ignorance of its coming. Here a grand 
dinner was given in Mr. and Mrs. Roosevelt's 
honor. Here also the boat had to remain two 
months until rains increased the depth of water at 
the "Falls" sufficient for the boat to pass over. 
As it was running the "Falls," the shock of an 
earthquake was felt — one of a series that for three 
months was to terrorize the region about New 
Madrid, Mo., and bring about many geographical 
changes in a strip of country along the Mississippi 
for a distance of three hundred miles or more. 

The passage of the "Falls," exciting as it was, 
was made successfully. The voyage was continued 
in watchful anxiety but, fortunately, without 
mishap. In turn, the smoke-spouting monster 
charging down stream inspired the ignorant and 
superstitious along the shores of the river with a 
terror that appears to us to-day as very ludicrous. 

Natchez was reached with relief. The boat here 
swung around and breasted the current successfully 
in effecting a landing. This was its first real test 
of efficiency. As an old negro on the bank re- 
marked, "By golly, ole Mississip done got her 
massa dis time." 

The arrival of the boat at New Orleans occa- 
sioned much excitement and rejoicing. The in- 
habitants were given several opportunities to take 
short excursions about the harbor,^ after which 

' The writer in the early nineties numbered among his New Orleans 
acquaintances a nonagenarian, — the venerable Mr. Thibault, who was 
wont to graphically recount the arrival of the New Orleans and his good 

3o8 ^i^t "^allep American 

the New Orleans entered regularly the New Orleans- 
Natchez trade. It continued for a little more than 
a year before it struck disaster in the shape of a 
snag. In this brief time, however, it earned more 
than $20,000 above expenses. Steamboating on 
the Mississippi was thus proved profitable as well 
as practicable. 

An important source of this profit was in the 
passenger travel ; $25 was the up-stream fare from 
New Orleans to Natchez and $15 down. As boats 
multiplied and competition increased, passenger 
travel was more and more catered to, until accom- 
modations reached the point of unparalleled 
luxury. Each boat vied with its competitors to 
establish a reputation, first for "feeding" well; 
next, for speed. The first made it popular with the 
ladies, without a large contingent of whom no trip 
was socially complete. The other popularized it 
with that very large element sportily inclined, 
whose keenest pleasure is " to beat the other fellow" 
in any kind of a contest. And certainly a race on 
the Mississippi between rival steamboats was an 
Olympian event, making all other contests tame by 

The fare served on these steamboats at a time 
when so large an area of America was still in 

fortune in being taken upon the first excursion. The announcement of 
this excursion appearing in the New Orleans press of that day was that 
the boat would leave at 10 a.m. and go as far as "English Turn." The 
fare would be three dollars. As the boat would not arrive on the return 
trip before 3 p.m. passengers "who desire to dine before that hour will 
carry their own provisions." 

Steam's! ^olbing of tfie Wip=^txtam problem 309 

the trencher-pawing, hands-were-made-bef ore-forks 
stage of refectorial procedure, was exquisite in its 
conception and complete in its refinement of 
service. Old gourmets are still alive who recall 
with many a sigh the gustatory pleasures of a trip 
on the Mississippi in the ante-bellum days. Cook- 
ery in some parts of the world is an acquired art, 
in other parts a developed science, but the negro 
and mulatto chefs on the floating palaces that plied 
the western rivers between St. Louis or Cincinnati 
and New Orleans in the old days, had it born in 
them as an instinct, and exercised their gifts as if 

Following the successful venture of the New 
Orleans came a rapid development of the steam- 
boating industry. Boat-building activities came 
into prominence at such river points as Brownsville 
and Pittsburg, Pa. ; Henderson and Louisville, Ky. ; 
Cincinnati, O.; and New Albany, Jeffersonville 
and Evansville, Ind. For a brief period in the 
beginning the industry was retarded, however, by 
the monopoly rights to steamboat navigation 
claimed by Messrs. Livingston & Fulton. Ex- 
clusive privilege to use steam in the navigation of 
their waters under the Fulton patent had been 
granted by several States, including Louisiana. 
Under date of March 2, 1812, an advertisement 
signed by N. J. Roosevelt was published in New 
Orleans advising, "Persons desirous of becoming 
interested in the Steam Boats under the patent of 
Messrs. Livingston & Fulton, which are intended to 

310 tlDiie 'Valitp American 

navigate the Mississippi, Ohio and Cumberland 
rivers as high as the Falls of the Ohio, will apply- 
to the subscriber at the office of Messrs. Talcott & 
Boneis, between the hours of 11 and 2, where the 
subscription book will be open until filled." 

But there were adventurous spirits who declined 
to pay tribute or concede monopoly to Messrs. 
Livingston & Fulton or any representative of 
theirs. One of the first of these was Henry M. 
Shreve, who had the steamer Enterprise built for 
himself at Brownsville, Pa., came down the river 
and proceeded to garner some of the profits of the 
lower Mississippi trade. Another was Daniel 
French whose little Comet of only twenty -five tons 
capacity featured a stern wheel of French's own 
device, thus originating a class of "stern wheelers" 
to contest in efficiency with the "side wheelers." 
The Enterprise was the first steamer to ascend Red 
River and Louisiana's second largest city, Shreve- 
port, was named in honor of its owner and com- 

The throttling effects of an enforced monopoly 
of steam navigation became so apparent in the 
course of time that public opinion and protest soon 
found expression in a court decision setting aside 
the monopoly. What would now be called the 
Independents came into the field. Boat after boat 
left the ways, some to be designated as "Fulton 
Boats" as a trade-marked commendation of 
superiority, if it conformed to the Fulton design 
and patents. The Vesuvius , the third boat to reach 

Steam's; ^olbing of tfje tip=^tream problem 311 

New Orleans (May 16, 1814), — the Comet being 
the second and the Enterprise, fourth, — was a 
Fulton Boat, as was also the Etna, built at Pitts- 
burg (1814) — and which was the first to make the 
successful up-stream run from New Orleans to 
Louisville and thereby demonstrate the feasibility 
of establishing regular communication between 
distant points. By 1832 there were twenty-five 
steamers plying between Louisville or Cincinnati 
and New Orleans, seven between Nashville and 
New Orleans; and four between New Orleans and 
St. Louis. 

The first steamboat to arrive in St. Louis was the 
Fulton Boat, General Pike, Captain Jacob Read, 
Master (Aug. 2, 1817); the first to ascend the 
Missouri as far as "Old Franklin" was the In- 
dependence, Capt. Nelson (1819). The first to 
make its way up the Mississippi to Ft. Snelling, 
Minnesota, was the Virginian (1823). The first 
steamboat on the Arkansas River (1828) was the 
Facility, Captain Pennywit, who is also credited 
with taking the first steamboat into the White 
River — the Waverly (1830). Two years after a 
steamer owned by Pierre Chouteau, Jr., ascended 
the Missouri to the forks of the Yellowstone. 

These were the pioneers of steam navigation 
upon the streams of the West, to be followed by 
the multitude, as is invariably the case when the 
pioneer points the way. The steamboat, however, 
never did supersede the flatboat as a carrier of bulk 
freight down stream. In the year that steamboat- 

312 Wht ^allep American 

ing had advanced sufficiently to make possible the 
ascent of the Missouri to the mouth of the Yellow- 
stone, more than 4000 flatboats, with a total ton- 
nage of 160,000, were descending the Mississippi 
annually, notwithstanding the multiplicity of 
steamboats that had by that time come into 

The introduction of the steamboat upon the 
Western waters did, however, contribute more 
than any other one cause to the prosperity of the 
growing West. It made travel safer and more 
comfortable; communication more prompt. And, 
after all, may it not be said that the movement of 
man himself and the ready transmission of his 
thought to distances are as important in the scheme 
of progress as the transportation of his products .^ 


slavery's vain trek northwestward 

VV7HEN Hugh McCullough, Secretary of the 
^^ United States Treasury under three ad- 
ministrations, pioneered to Indiana in 1833 to 
begin the practice of law, it was with the intention 
of locating in the southern part of the State. From 
this he was dissuaded, however, by General Howard, 
United States District Attorney for Indiana at 
that time, who said to him, 

" Don't do it. There are some nice fellows in the southern 
counties, but the people generally have come from Kentucky, 
Tennessee and the Carolinas. They are good enough people 
in their way but having been raised in the States in which 
slavery exists, they are not enterprising; their ways are not 
your ways; you would not like them. Go north, no matter 
if it is a wilderness; it will not be so long. It will soon be 
filled by people from New York and New England the right 
kind of people to develop it." 

These words confirm two facts and support 
several inferences. The first of these facts is that 
two distinct streams of population supplied the 
Northwest with settlers — and by Northwest must 


314 ^'b^ ^alUv ^meritan 

now be designated the whole upper Valley, includ- 
ing the region beyond the Mississippi. The second 
is that there was a cleavage between these two 
streams, not only in a physical sense but in a near- 
ethnic one as well. 

The first inference to be drawn is that the more 
northern of the two streams was either moving 
more slowly or with weaker force; else Northern 
Indiana would not have been a wilderness as late 
as 1833, when Southern Indiana was already quite 
well peopled from Kentucky, Tennessee and the 
Carolinas. A second inference is that the difference 
between the people of the North and of the South, 
as to type, tradition, ideals and general outlook 
upon life, developed before slavery was destroyed 
and before a greater homogeneity in the population 
was brought about, found expression in this double 
migration to the Northwest. A third, is that 
wherever the two streams mingled and their variant 
elements combined themselves into constituencies 
or States, there should, necessarily, have followed 
clashes of opinion, heated controversies, strenuous 
struggles for local political control, conflict of 
community ideals and aspirations. 

The record bears out the correctness of these 
inferences. Although the Ordinance of 1787 posi- 
tively proscribed, for all time, slavery in any of the 
States to be formed out of the "Northwest Terri- 
tory" in its restricted sense, nevertheless, a large 
element among the settlers of both Indiana and 
Illinois, imbued with the spirit of their earlier 

Mahttf^ ^ain tE^refe i^orfttciesittoarb 315 

traditions, believed that this organically ordained 
prohibition could be set aside by the sovereignty 
which, as Americans, they felt resided in them- 
selves. The basis of this belief was, of course, the 
theory that the State is supreme in the determining 
of its own institutions and laws and in the enforcing 
of its own authority — a theory which afterward 
found expression farther West in the agitation over 
the admission of Missouri and in the "squatter 
sovereignty" propaganda when the admission of 
Kansas and Nebraska into the Union began to 
occupy the public mind. 

The slavery question was the paramount political 
issue in Indiana up to the time of its organization 
as a State. A convention held in Vincennes as 
early as 1802 had memorialized Congress to sus- 
pend for ten years the sixth article of the Ordinance 
of 1787, — which was that which prohibited slavery, 
— it being held by the petitioner that slave labor 
was needed to develop the new country. The 
Territorial Legislature in 1805 and again in 1807 
also memorialized Congress in the interest of would- 
be slaveholders. 

A counter agitation, however, was started in 
1807 and it met with such success that Jonathan 
Jennings, anti-slavery candidate, was elected Terri- 
torial Delegate to Congress in 1809, over Thomas 
Randolph, the pro-slavery aspirant. Jennings was 
reelected biennially thereafter until 1816, when 
Statehood was attained with a no-slavery clause 
in its organic law. He was then elected Governor. 

31 6 ^fje "^allep American 

Illinois Territory had a similar experience. The 
Southern element largely predominated among its 
inhabitants, but apparently a large number of these 
Southerners were opposed to slavery, either on 
principle or because they had come to Illinois to 
escape the demoralizing competition and class dis- 
tinctions which slave labor had always set up 
against the poorer, non-slave holding whites in 
the South. 

A large part of the "floating" population of 
Illinois, on the other hand, was strongly in favor of 
slavery. These had lands and farms to sell and 
were feeling the eager, never-ceasing urge to move 
farther West, to which they could respond only by 
disposing of their present or temporary holdings. 
They beheld in the stream of emigrants and in- 
vestors from Kentucky and other States to the 
Southeast, treking past their doors, accompanied 
by numerous cattle and slaves and bound for slave- 
permitting Missouri, so many lost opportunities 
to dispose of their own possessions to newcomers. 

The Illinois Constitution adopted when it be- 
came a State (1818), while conforming to the letter 
of the Ordinance of 1787, evaded it in spirit, inas- 
much as it recognized a system of indenturing 
slaves brought into the State for a term of service, 
sometimes fixed at ninety-nine years, which system 
differed from that of chattel servitude in no essen- 
tial detail. 

Sentiment fro and con grew until slavery be- 
came a pronounced issue by the time the second 

^laberp'si ^ain tlTrefe J^ortijtoesittDarb 317 

election for Governor of the State took place. It 
will appear strange to many that the leader of the 
anti-slavery element was a Southerner of the higher 
or aristocratic slaveholding class. He was Edward 
Coles, a young Virginian of polished manners and 
unimpeachable character, who had for six years 
been private Secretary to President Madison, had 
enjoyed the friendship of Monroe and Jefferson, 
had served as special envoy to the Court of Russia 
and had, upon moving to Illinois, voluntarily freed 
the slaves accompanying him, giving each 160 
acres of land for a start in life. 

His leadership bears testimony to the well-known 
fact that many of the gentry and large slaveholders 
of Virginia recognized the evils of the system and 
were disposed towards setting their servitors free 
when it could be done without disadvantage to 
those freed, and without disturbing economic and 
social conditions. 

In the second election the pro-slaveryites gained 
control of the Legislature and landed their candi- 
dates for every office, except the governorship. 
They had nominated two candidates, with the idea 
that two could, with more certainty, disrupt the 
Coles following. This division of attacking forces 
was fatal. Coles was elected. One can foresee the 
inevitable consequences of having a Governor of 
one faith and a Legislature of another when such a 
bitterness-inspiring issue as slavery came up for 
decision. Resolutions for a convention to assemble 
for the purpose of amending the State constitution 

3i8 Wt^t "^allep American 

to permit slavery was passed by devious methods 
through the State Legislature and submitted to the 
people. The campaign waxed hot and furious. 
Violence, outrage, mob violations of law were 
everywhere in evidence. Election day came. All 
the devices employed by election-fixers, ward- 
heelers and other over-turners of the popular will 
in more modern times, were resorted to with and 
without success. The aged and the crippled were 
carried to the polls. Men ordinarily indifferent to 
the privileges of the franchise voted for the first 
time in twenty years. At the end of a bitter cam- 
paign it was found that the proposition to hold a 
convention was lost. 

Illinois, thenceforth, was never to be other than 
a free State. Out of the controversy thus settled 
sprang Abolition, full-armed, to wage the battle 
whose final reverberations were to rock the nation's 
depths. Out of the frontier State thus staging 
these early trials of strength between pro- and anti- 
slaveryites arose the heroic figure of Abraham 
Lincoln, rugged, uncouth, fearless and true to the 
pioneer type of his Kentucky forebears. In time 
he was to be the West's second great message- 
bearer for a larger, fuller democracy, as Andrew 
Jackson was the first. Out of the give-and-take 
of the debates precipitated thus early by the issues 
raised came the inspiration which declared, "these 
United States cannot exist in peace, part slave and 
part free"; and which proclaimed Emancipation's 
immortal mandate that was to pedestal the pro- 

^lahtxp*si 'Fam Wttk j^tortSttiesitfctiarb 319 

claimer among the Royally Great of all time, — 
even before Tragedy had sheathed her dagger or a 
mourning multitude had hushed its grief. 

With Illinois closed to him, the migrant slave- 
holder made Missouri his Mecca. He bore with 
him across the turbid waters of the Mississippi his 
bag of slavery-sentiment seed to be scattered 
broadcast as dragon teeth over the land beyond. 
And from the sowing sprang a crop of contenders 
for a right which Public Opinion was to pronounce 
but licensed wrong and which mighty armies were 
to be called upon to determine which of the two 
was to prevail. 

How different were these slave barons, moving 
in feudal state, from the restless, slaveless, frontier- 
tempered, temporary dwellers moving, moving 
steadily and irresistibly northwestward, from the 
primary pioneer areas of the Southeast, ever in 
search of isolation. How different from the thrifty 
ones moving due west, seeking, not the life of the 
wilderness cabin dweller and game hunter, nor the 
luxury of being served on lordly estates by retinues 
of body-owned servants and sweat-soaked, wageless 
laborers, but the earned satisfaction of creating 
unaided out of nothingness, permanent homes and 
independence-bestowing farms and of planting in 
the wilderness a community life first cousin to that 
of the older East from which they came. 

The Reverend Timothy Flint, a New England 
clergyman of clear vision, sympathetic understand- 
ing and unusual literary skill for his time, has given 

320 tEiit "^allep American 

us in his narrative of early western travels (pub- 
lished in 1826), a description that has become 
almost a classic, of a slave-owner's immigration 
train moving into Missouri. Says he: 

"Between the second and third years of my residence 
here [St. Charles, Mo.] the immigration from the Western 
and Southern States poured in a flood, the power and 
strength of which could only be adequately conceived by 
persons on the spot. We have numbered a hundred persons 
passing through the village in one day. From the Mamelles, 
I have looked over the subjacent plains quite to the ferry 
where the immigrants crossed the upper Mississippi. I 
have seen in this extent nine wagons, harnessed with from 
four to six horses. We may allow a hundred cattle, besides 
hogs, horses and sheep to each wagon; and from three to 
twenty slaves. The whole appearance of the train, the 
cattle with their hundred bells; the negroes with delight in 
their countenances, for their labors are suspended and their 
imaginations are excited; the wagons, often carrying two 
or three tons, so loaded that the mistress and children are 
strolling carelessly along, in a gait which enables them to 
keep up with the slow traveling carriage; — the whole group 
occupies three quarters of a mile. The slaves seem fond of 
their masters, and quite as much delighted and interested 
in the immigration, as the master. It is to me a very pleas- 
ing and patriarchal scene. It carries me back to the days 
of other years, and to the pastoral pursuits of those ancient 
races, whose home was in a tent, wherever their flocks found 
range. I question if the rich inhabitants of England, taking 
their summer excursions to Bath, are happier in their jour- 
ney than these people. Just about night fall, they come to 
a spring or branch, where there is water and wood. The 
dogs set up a cheerful barking. The cattle lie down and 
ruminate. The team is unharnessed. The huge wagons are 
covered so that the roof completely excludes the rain. The 

^la\jtxfsi "^ain l^refe i^tortfitDesfttDarb 321 

cooking utensils are brought out. The blacks prepare 
supper, which the toils of the day render delicious; they 
talk over the adventures of the past day, and the prospects 
of the next. Meanwhile they are going where there is 
nothing but buffaloes and deer to limit their range, even 
to the Western sea! Their imaginations are highly excited. 
Said some of them to me as they passed over the Mamelle 
prairie, — the richest spot I have seen — ' If this is so rich, 
what must Boone's Lick be?'" 



T TNDER the terms of the Louisiana purchase, 
^^ the people of the province, guaranteed in the 
rights, privileges and immunities of citizens of the 
United States, were presumably empowered to 
own slaves. The ifirst subdivision of the purchased 
area to become a State had been confirmed in this 
right, for the State of Louisiana had been from the 
first a slaveholding State. But when it came time 
to organize a second State — Missouri — sentiment 
against slavery had so crystallized in the East 
that strenuous opposition to its admission as a 
"slave State" developed in Congress. 

Needless to go into the long and heated con- 
troversy which followed, a controversy tempor- 
arily but unsatisfactorily settled by the so-called 
Missouri Compromise. This compromise, sug- 
gested by Senator Thomas of Illinois and adopted 
January 18, 1820, permitted the admission of 
Missouri as a slave State but prohibited for all 
time the extension of slavery to any other portion 
of the Louisiana Purchase lying north of the lati- 
tude of Missouri's southern boundary line. 


Jfirsit ^otoing of tfie Bragon'ss ^eetfj 323 

The action of Congress in passing this measure 
affected the political thought of the nation pro- 
foundly. It was here that the cleavage started, 
which in time was to divide the nation into warring 
camps. It was here that the parting of the ways 
took place, one to lead eventually to Union, the 
other to Secession. 

Because Missouri had placed herself among the 
so-called slave States, it is not to be inferred that 
the slaveholding element dominated her immigra- 
tion or continued indefinitely to exercise a pre- 
ponderating influence in her affairs. She was 
preeminently a white man's State. Surface and 
soil and salubrity of climate attracted to her the 
small farmer of the East as well as the non-slave- 
holders of the South who wished to place them- 
selves beyond a labor competition with blacks. 

As a farm hand, lacking as he did in initiative 
and in all-around agricultural knowledge, the negro 
slave had long before demonstrated his unfitness, 
unless vigilantly overseered and continuously 
directed. He was at home in rich, malaria-infested 
river bottoms and thrived in superheated climatic 
areas. The cotton gin had wedded him almost 
irrevocably to cotton. He had little knowledge 
of domestic animals save one — the animal 
whose characteristic stubbornness and indirection 
matched his own ; whose ability to stand belaboring 
was equal to that which he himself had inherited 
from generations of ancestors who, since the dawn 
of history, had themselves felt the lash of task- 

324 ^Jjc ^allep American 

masters. Between the negro and the mule there 
evolved itself a psychic union of mutual under- 
standing, almost uncanny in its nature and work- 
ings. Students and delineators of Southern negro 
life, from Irwin Russell down to Irwin Cobb and 
Harris Dickson, have invariably sensed this 

In the days of slavery, cotton, "niggers" and 
mules made an effective agricultural combination 
only where the first could be grown to such an ad- 
vantage as to make of it the one crop justifying 
concentration of effort; where the second and third 
could be driven to their ultimate of productive 
energy; where over all could be installed a super- 
vising intelligence vested with almost sovereign 
power, denying at all times any exercise of will or 
initiative other than his own. 

Such a system was for the plantation and not 
for the farm. And as experience proved that 
natural and physical conditions place definite 
limits to the so-called cotton-belt, and that these 
limits could be stretched so as to cover only a part 
of Southern Missouri, the agricultural development 
of the remaining portion of that State fell prin- 
cipally to the small landholder, — the farmer and 
the stock raiser. Soon the migration of slave- 
owners and plantation developers was deflected 
into Arkansas, particularly after the Osage and 
Quapaw Indian titles to territory covering a large 
part of that region were wiped out. 

The Osage title to the greater part of north- 

Jfirsft ^otoing of tfje Bragon's; ^eeft 325 

eastern Arkansas was extinguished by the treaty 
of Nov. 10, 1808, — known as the First Treaty; and 
to the northeastern section, by the second Osage 
Treaty of 1818. South of the Arkansas River, title 
was acquired from the Quapaws by two treaties — 
1818 and 1824. 

When the Cherokees were moved west of the 
Mississippi, they were, at first, given (1817) a part 
of the first Osage cession and the Choctaws were 
given a large part of the Quapaw cession. In a 
few years both Cherokees and Choctaws were 
moved farther west into the specially created 
Indian Territory, now part of Oklahoma. 

When Texas became a part of the Union it was 
also thrown open to this class of immigrant. But 
side by side with the slaveholder, outshouldering 
him wherever he went — Missouri, Arkansas or 
Texas — was the thrifty, individualistic, freedom- 
loving pioneer, aspiring only to such a compara- 
tively small landholding as could be cultivated by 
his own labor. These came from not only the East 
but from the South and especially from the com- 
monwealths of that earlier West when the Missis- 
sippi was the westernmost limit of that designated 

Wherever Southerner and Easterner took up 
their abode side by side and mingled in joint en- 
deavor to develop a trans-Mississippi community, 
one could easily be distinguished from the other 
by the character of his dwelling and its surround- 

326 ^fje ^Tallep i^merican 

The Easterner built square and compactly, 
economized on roof and emphasized cosiness and 
weather-protection. The Southerner went in for 
space and airiness, seemed to have an antipathy to 
stair-climbings and therefore wanted everything 
on one floor. He inherited a predilection for a 
broad central hall extending from front to back, 
open at both ends, through which breezes could 
play on hottest days, — an evolution of the roofed- 
over "dog-trot" intervening between twin, square, 
one-roomed log structures which thus united, 
formed the typical cabin of the Southern frontiers- 
man wherever he went. 

The race -memory of the Easterner, uncon- 
sciously expressing itself when he built, seemed to 
be of bleak snow-swept landscapes and winter 
hardships; that of the Southerner, summer's heat 
and the glare of torrid sun at noon. The outbuild- 
ings of the Easterner's farm were usually of 
the closely grouped. New England-barn-like type — 
large, roomy stock protectors and hay holders. 
Those of the Southerner ran more to scattered pens, 
shelter sheds, corn-cribs, smoke-houses, slatted 
stables and open wagon-sheds. Here again his 
race-memory of climate took form. The Souther- 
ner wanted his ample porches and "galleries"; 
the Easterner was satisfied with a simple "stoop." 
In the course of time, as descendants of both 
learned one from the other and hybridized in more 
ways than in mingling of ideas, distinctiveness of 
structure in relation to the nature and origin of 

jfit9it ^otoins of tfje 5Bragon*£f tE^eetfl 327 

tenants faded out into architectural types of lesser 

As time passed on, more or less successful at- 
tempts were made to destroy the force and effec- 
tiveness of the Missouri Compromise in its slavery- 
restricting provision. The first of these was the 
Platte Purchase by which the State of Missouri 
added to her slaveholding area a considerable slice 
of territory lying along her first western border — 
territory that according to the "Compromise" 
was to be non-slaveholding for all time. 

The second attempt was the admission of Cali- 
fornia as a "free State," which admission violated 
and practically made null and void the Missouri 
Compromise line. For, extended to the Pacific, 
this line divided the State into almost equal 
parts. The prohibition of slavery in the part 
south of the line was held to be a repudiation of 
the Compromise. 

The third attempt was in the passage of the bill 
to admit Kansas and Nebraska to the Union. In 
the area covered by these States slavery, as or- 
dained by the Compromise, was not to be per- 
mitted. The Kansas-Nebraska bill reopened the 
whole slavery controversy and left the decision as 
to whether their State should be "free" or "slave" 
to the people of each. As many of the population 
were pioneers of the squatter class, the vesting of 
supreme authority in them to make decision estab- 
lished the political doctrine of Squatter Sovereignty 
— the right of self-determination, even before a 

328 tB^fje ^allej) American 

people constituted themselves into a corporate 

Truly, Democracy, as based upon the fundamen- 
tal right of a people to decide for themselves the 
governmental policies and institutions under which 
they were to live, had made giant strides in cross- 
ing the Mississippi from the old territory northwest 
of the River Ohio, to the prairie regions of the 
boundless West; and a far cry it was from the 
Ordinance of 1787 to the Kansas-Nebraska bill. 



nPHE War of 1812 halted westward migration to 
■*• a marked extent. But with the close of hostili- 
ties came a new rush to the Northwest and to the 
region beyond the Mississippi. In the five years 
following the war the population of Missouri, 
exclusive of its District of Arkansas, increased 
from 20,000 to 66,000 and its organized counties 
from five to fifteen. 

The lure now operating to draw people westward 
was preeminently land at little cost. The United 
States government in its disposition of the public 
domain had had a long and varied experience and 
was now profiting by this experience to the extent 
that comparative uniformity and system charac- 
terized transactions involving sales and perfecting 
of titles. 

Let it be recalled that the original intent of Con- 
gress had been to realize upon the ceded "Western 
unoccupied lands" in order to pay the public debt. 
But individual States, having their own obligations 
to meet, proceeded to adopt the same method of 
raising revenue. Thus it was the United States as 


330 ^i)t ^allep American 

a real estate dealer found itself in competition with 
Virginia (Ky.), Connecticut (Western Reserve), 
North Carolina (Tenn.) and Georgia (Ala. -Miss.), 
the effects of which were in evidence as late as 1796. 
Even Massachusetts entered merrily into the game, 
in the hope, perhaps, of diverting her people from 
joining the westward movement, by offering land 
in her then owned District of Maine at as low a 
price as 50 cents per acre. Let it also be remem- 
bered that at this time there was a frontier in New 
York and New England moving north and north- 
east as well as a frontier beyond the Alleghanies, 
which was moving west. 

The United States also found itself in competi- 
tion with various speculative land companies 
created by its own beneficence. It seemed in the 
beginning that to sell in large tracts promised 
prompter realization of returns. So special induce- 
ments not extended to the small buyer were offered 
the larger speculator, the discrimination being 
sometimes more than sufficient to enable the specu- 
lator to price his acquired landholdings to would-be 
settlers, under that which the government de- 
manded. Moreover, the land speculator sold in 
tracts, however small, when the government was 
requiring purchase to be made in multiples of 320 
acres. Thus at a time when the price per acre to 
the small buyer was fixed by the government at 
one dollar per acre, specie, plus one dollar per sec- 
tion for surveying, John Cleves Symmes and asso- 
ciates purchased three million acres in the section 

tBf)t ILuxt of ILotci=$ricetJ Hanbsf 331 

around the present site of Cincinnati at sixty-six 
and two thirds cents payable in the paper obliga- 
tions of the government, making the net specie cost 
per acre something like nine or ten cents. The 
Symmes Company were therefore in position to 
sell to settlers at one half of the government's price 
and still reap handsome profits. 

This phase of competition, together with that 
of the individual States, soon died out, however, 
and left the general government practically alone 
in the field. But a considerable period elapsed 
before the machinery of the government's land 
selling organization, with its essential elements of 
prompt surveys and exact locatings, got into 
smooth working order. A uniform price of two 
dollars per acre, payable in specie or evidence of 
the government's indebtedness, was uniformly 
maintained for awhile. The patronage of the small 
buyer was sought. He was permitted to buy on a 
small payment down with liberal terms for the 

The temptation to speculate, to load up with 
more land than was needed, was almost irresistible. 
As a creditor, the United States showed itself a 
liberal one, granting from time to time further 
concessions on deferred payments. It is stated 
that by 1820 more than $22,000,000 of this out- 
standing indebtedness in favor of the government 
had accumulated, and that the need and efforts to 
meet the obligations thus incurred by land buyers 
in the West was a contributive cause of the first 

332 tlTfie '¥a\ltv American 

great financial panic that descended upon this 
country — a panic whose effects were most severely 
felt in the section that had given rise to its cause. 

Remedial legislation was attempted with more 
or less success. April 24th, 1820, Congress passed 
an act reducing the price of public lands from $2 to 
$1.25 per acre, withholding credit for any part of 
the purchase price and allowing sales in multiples 
of eighty acres. This certainly was giving the man 
of moderate means — the true home builder — a 
chance. On March 2nd of the next year a follow- 
up act was passed permitting those who had in 
the past purchased, speculatively, to relinquish 
such portion as corresponded to their indebtedness, 
with all accumulated interest charges renounced 
and cancelled. This, as calculated, brought some 
ease to the situation. 

Meanwhile, the idea was already taking shape 
in the public mind and penetrating the indurated 
brain-shell of the average statesman that the policy 
of regarding public lands as purely a source of 
revenue for the general government was not only 
false but operated against the development of the 
nation's greater resources and interfered with the 
social betterment of the people. 

It was beginning to be realized that the fewer 
the obstacles that were interposed against occu- 
pancy and use, the sooner these lands would be- 
come productive of wealth and furnish tax-revenues 
to the new and struggling commonwealths in which 
public lands were located. 

tlTfie ICurc of Hoto Priceb=1lanb? 333 

In 1826 this idea became so pronounced that 
Thomas H. Benton, Senator from Missouri, long a 
giant figure in national as well as Western politics, 
voiced it in the open Senate of the United States 
with impassioned eloquence. He maintained in his 
address that Senators are not questors of provinces 
empowered to dispose of domains at will; that an 
assembly of lawmakers could not arrogate to them- 
selves the keepership, as it were, of the King's 
forests, treating intruding settlers as poachers; 
that this was a Republic for the many and not 
a Monarchy for the few, and that the public 
lands belonged to the people and not to the 
Federal Government. Thus dawned the period 
in which the idea of "Free Homesteads" was 
to find its fullest fruition in the *' booms" and 
"rushes" that pushed so rapidly the frontier be- 
yond the Mississippi in its progress towards the 
later West. 

The slowness with which the government's 
machinery for the systematic disposal of public 
lands gnawed its way westward gave rise to many 
complications in the final adjustment of land titles. 
Ever before the public surveyor went the squatter. 
Often whole areas would be thrown open to occu- 
pancy and purchase after they had been already 
occupied and in use. 

In the subconscience of the West, as well as in 
its thought expressed so frequently in action, was a 
conception of justice which ordained that the man 
who carved out his home and acres from the 

334 ^t)f ^allej* jlmerican 

wilderness should be quieted in his title, or have 
the first chance to purchase his special holdings 
when surveys were made and accessible land offices 
were opened. 

Failing to avail himself of this opportunity, the 
squatter was to be compensated for the work he 
had already done and for the improvements he 
had already made. Woe be to the intruder who 
failed to recognize this unwritten principle of 
equity. At no time in the long history of the West, 
has the lot of a so-called claim- jumper been an 
enviable one, or his life among his neighbors one 
glad, sweet song. Social position as well as happi- 
ness of existence waited upon the newcomer's 
regard for moral obligations, notwithstanding his 
acquirement of unquestioned legal rights that ran 
counter to these obligations. 

Many squatters, unable to buy, sold their im- 
provements to those who could, for enough to 
enable themselves to buy elsewhere. Others, when 
the time came to buy, had accumulated from their 
labors sufficient to make the purchase. There 
was at all times on the moving frontier a transient 
element who cleared and improved with the sole 
view to subsequently selling. This accounts for 
the secondary and tertiary waves of migration that 
blended significantly with the original tide in the 
general westward movement of population. 

Congress in the beginning had denied all rights 
to make settlement upon lands the Indian title 
to which had not been legally and in due form 

Wtt ILuxt of 1lobp=$riceb ILanti^ 335 

extinguished. In 1807 it assumed to declare that 
settlers had no legal right to advance beyond 
officially surveyed areas, nor to mark off claims, 
nor to occupy and cultivate lands which had not 
been surveyed and to which the United States 
had not issued warrant, patent or certificate of 

But there was something that entered into the 
make-up of the average Westerner of that day that 
impelled him to resent restriction placed upon his 
will and inclination, whenever his material inter- 
ests were involved. He did not sit up of nights 
reading and pondering over statutes devised to 
control his actions. Humility and obedience as a 
citizen were not beatitudes within his ken. With 
him. Might and Possession and absolute ownership 
of what he produced were rights as inalienable as 
those enumerated in America's great Declaration. 
He ignored both inhibitions and prohibitions. In 
his attitude towards the Indians, the good old 
Wordsworthian rule sufficed him — "that they 
should take who have the power, and they should 
keep who can." 

When the Indians were powerful and hostile, 
the westward-moving land seeker and wilderness 
home builder reared his blockhouse among them 
and wrested from them meager acres to his use. 
When the Red Man had been chastened and 
subdued by wars and treaties, and his warriors 
had become wards of the Government, he pene- 
trated their reservations and pried them from their 

336 %'i)t "Fallep American 

prized possessions, despite all mandates and all 
protective provisions which a distant Congress 
might enact. Witness his treatment of the Indians 
of Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin which 
brought on the Sac-and-Fox W^ar. Note his in- 
roads on the territory of the Osages, by which he 
pushed back the frontier of Missouri and Iowa 
before the United States Government extinguished 
the Osage title. 

The Western settler seldom hesitated to go 
beyond surveyed areas. He anticipated the coming 
of the government surveyor and the Public Land 
Office by organizing, for self -protection. Land Clubs, 
Land Leagues and Land-Claims Associations 
among his squatting neighbors, which played an 
important part in the development of the upper 
Valley and in the subsequent quieting of land titles. 
These clubs and associations recorded with more 
or less formality titles derived by priority of occu- 
pancy and possession, adjusted conflicting claims 
based upon such titles and cooperatively main- 
tained the rights of individual members against all 
comers. They were in evidence in a crude form as 
early as the Wantauga and Cumberland settle- 
ments of Tennessee and the Transylvania settle- 
ments of Kentucky. They were well advanced in 
organization and effectiveness in Northern Illinois 
and Southern Wisconsin, when the pre-survey 
invasion of that area was made. They reached 
their fullest development in Iowa, where Land 
Claims Associations, intelligently organized and 

Wi}t Hute of 1loto=$riceb ILmtii 337 

admirably administered, contributed much to the 
rapid settlement of that part of the frontier and to 
the peace of mind of its squatter inhabitants, when 
settlement was made prior to the arrival of the 
surveyor with his power to dispense governmental 

As an instance of how these clubs and claim 
associations operated, let those so numerous in 
Iowa be cited. Each of these Iowa associations 
had a President, Vice-President, a Clerk or Recor- 
der of Claims, a specified number of Judges or 
Adjusters of Claims and Boundaries, and two 
Marshals. Public meetings of the Association 
promoted common counsel and community co- 
operation. Claim Courts held formal session, and 
rendered decisions with unimpeachable fairness. 
The penalty for not abiding by a decision or for 
interfering with the property rights and interests 
of any association members as fixed by the court 
was the boycott. "We mutually pledge our 
honors," says the constitution of the Johnson 
County Claim Association, "that we will not 
associate with nor countenance those who do not 
respect the claims of settlers; that we will neither 
neighbor with them nor trade, barter or deal with 
them or otherwise regard them other than as 
enemies of justice and good order." 

Thus in the constitutions and by-laws of these 
associations and their practical workings we see 
the Mayflower Compact, the New England 
Town-Meeting; the Southern county organiza- 

338 ^t)e ^ane|> ^mtvitan 

tion; government by public opinion; government 
by common consent, and other facets of De- 
mocracy's American-cut diamond whose scintilla- 
tions make it the most valued and admired among 
the world's collection of governmental gems. 



npHE Sac-and-Fox Indians had from the 
-■■ beginning been a thorn in the white man's 
side. Their enmity had deflected the French of 
Canada from a most convenient passageway to the 
Mississippi. They had upon repeated occasions 
been sources of irritation to the EngUsh. In 1804 
they had been induced to cede their lands east of 
the Mississippi and move over to the west side, 
reserving, however, the right to return and hunt 
upon the land surrendered as long as it remained 
government property. A majority of their number 
observed the treaty but a portion of the tribe, 
loath to leave the graves and sacred places of their 
ancestors, clung to their ancient village of Sanker- 
mint, not far from the present site of Rock Island, 
Illinois. Here they lived comparatively undis- 
turbed until 1823, their village being about fifty 
miles from the then frontier. 

Unscrupulous squatters coveting the choice 
lands and improvements of these Indians began to 
make trouble. Collisions were of frequent occur- 
rence, quasi-hostilities continuing until 1829. It 


340 ^|)e ^allep American 

cannot be said that the record of these years is 
creditable to the whites. They violated the laws 
of their own country in their squattings upon un- 
surveyed lands ; they violated the laws of humanity 
in their cruel methods of dispossessing the Indians. 

The climax came when President Jackson noti- 
fied these Indians they would have to move. Black 
Hawk, their chief, declined, maintaining that those 
who signed away the tribal lands originally had 
done so without tribal authority and through 
cajolery and deception. In the first clash (1831) 
Black Hawk was defeated but a force of Winne- 
bagos and Pottawattomies joined him, sufiicient 
to constitute a formidable menace to the frontier 
settlements of Illinois. 

The militia were called out and request was 
made for oflScers of the regular army to take charge 
of the mustering. The one in command at the 
nearest post. Fort Crawford (Prairie du Chien, 
Wisconsin) , was Zachary Taylor, afterwards Presi- 
dent of the United States. The two officers sent to 
Dixon, Illinois, to muster in the militia were 
Lieutenants Jefferson Davis and Robert Anderson. 
A stalwart figure among the militia assembled was 
Abraham Lincoln, Captain of volunteers. 

Taylor was yet to win his laurels at Buena Vista 
and Monterey; Anderson, his in his gallant defense 
of Fort Sumter. As Davis and Lincoln in their 
young manhood are thus brought together for the 
first time upon the stage of history, what prophet 
could have foretold the respective parts they were 

^too (Giants! in tfje iWafeing 341 

yet to play ! And when, in the end, the curtain was 
rung down, what an opportunity for the moralist 
to set forth the remarkable coincidences and con- 
trasts of their respective careers ! 

Lincoln and Davis were born in Kentucky within 
one hundred miles of each other. Only eight 
months separated their ages, Davis being the older. 
The father of Lincoln, of Scotch-Irish stock, had 
pioneered from Virginia; the father of Davis, also 
of Scotch-Irish stock and a veteran of the war of 
the Revolution, had pioneered from Georgia. 
When Lincoln was eight years of age his father 
moved northwestward to Indiana; before Davis 
was five, his father moved southward to Missis- 
sippi. With the diverging of their lines of destiny 
came a difference in surrounding formative in- 
fluences which subsequently was to have marked 
and differentiating effects. 

Lincoln in Indiana and afterwards in Illinois 
faced manfully and conqueringly the fiber-testing, 
sordid hardships of the northwest frontier of that 
time. Davis in the southwest found himself in the 
community about Natchez where wealth was 
already in evidence, and where refinement to a fair 
degree had been attained. Lincoln, between inter- 
vals of grueling toil, — rail-splitting, wood-chopping, 
flatboating, — was the self-taught student passion- 
ately poring over his all-too-few books. Educa- 
tional facilities where Davis dwelt were by no 
means meager and his was the good fortune to 
acquire in time the polish and ability to lead which 

342 ^ht Vallep iSmerican 

West Point ever imparts. Lincoln made his way- 
upward practically single-handed and unaided. He 
wrung from his rougher associates respect through 
his wrestling and physical prowess ; he drew to him 
their affection through his jokes and homely 
stories, — and his little world did indeed stand 
sadly in need of humor to lighten occasionally the 
drudgeries of daily existence. Withal, he won the 
confidence of his community, by his innate sense of 
justice, his unerring common sense and his unvary- 
ing good nature. 

On the other hand, the prestige of family and of 
family connections, of belonging to the ruling, 
slaveholding class, smoothed the pathway to 
attainment for Davis, though the winning con- 
cededly was due to his own high character and 
personal accomplishments. He mingled not with 
the lowly except by condescension, but, let it not 
be charged, through any lack of innate kindliness 
of heart. His intellectual habits wrapped a mantle 
of aloofness about his towering form, and his mind 
won plaudits and admiration where his personality, 
except in death, failed to draw to him popular 

Lincoln was promoted to political leadership 
through his championing of the people's cause; 
Davis's heroism upon Mexican battlefields fired 
public imagination and made of him an idol upon 
which to drape political honors. 

The second occasion upon which Lincoln and 
Davis were brought together within the focus of a 

^tDO ^iant^ in tfje iHafemB 343 

single camera was when both appeared in Wash- 
ington as representatives of their respective States, 
— Lincoln, as Congressman from Illinois; Davis, 
as Senator from Mississippi. It was the lot of 
Lincoln to retire after a brief service, and then 
return to Washington triumphant as the chief 
executive of a great nation. It was the lot of Davis 
to remain for a longer time, a central figure in the 
nation's forum, before retiring to head a new, as- 
piring, would-be nation. 

To both came the fate of martyrdom: Lincoln, 
to a cause won; Davis to a cause lost. The fame 
of Lincoln is the prized heritage of the whole re- 
united land ; that of Davis is registered in the hearts 
of the people for whom he vicariously suffered. In 
both, the unbiased historian in time to come, when 
sectional prejudice will have had its day, will see 
exemplified in their respective careers action in 
accord with earnest conviction, one acting rightly 
as God gave him to see the right, as did the other, 
who so eloquently proclaimed this vital principle 
of correctly acting. 

The Sac-and-Fox war that first brought upon 
one scene these two colossal figures of American 
history reduced the remnant of this tribe that had 
stood out insurgently against the whites to dis- 
aster and misery. To the volunteer contingent the 
war meant the extermination of a hated neighbor; 
the removal of a menace; the clearing of an un- 
interrupted way northwestward to the Mississippi 
and beyond. The militia, accordingly, acted with 

344 ^^^ ^allep !3merican 

undue cruelty throughout, when unrestrained. 
With the passing of this pitiable remnant beyond 
the Mississippi, the settlement of Northern Illinois, 
Southern Wisconsin and Southeastern Iowa was 
made possible; and in the West of those days 
Possibility was but a synonym for rapid realization. 



'T'HE United States in its purchase of land west 
■*• of the Mississippi River, acquired a new set of 
frontier problems and was confronted with new 
racial barriers. Just what were the limits of the 
territory purchased was at the time not definitely 
known and was not to be determined until some 
years afterwards. That the acquired area ex- 
tended to the Pacific was the general belief. But 
Spanish occupancy had extended at a very early 
day up from Mexico and covered Southern Califor- 
nia and the greater part of what is now included in 
the States of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. 
Santa Fe, because of this early occupancy, is the 
second oldest town within the present confines of 
the United States. The claims of Spain and the 
United States overlapped in the Southwest, and 
disputes as to lines of demarkation between the 
possessions of the two nations were inevitable. 

The dispute as to boundaries started at the 
southern end of what was afterwards fixed as the 
southwest corner of the Valley. Spain claimed to 
the Mermentau River in what is now Louisiana, as 


346 tE'i)t "^anej> ^mtvicm 

the eastermost limits of her New PhiHppines, or 
Texas possessions. The United States claimed to 
the Rio Bravo, a stream very much farther to the 
west. After years of diplomatic negotiations and 
threatened clashes, the Sabine River was accepted 
as the compromise boundary. 

Meanwhile, in the early part of the disagreement 
Spanish forces established themselves at Nacog- 
doches, Texas, and threatened an invasion of the 
disputed territory and a possible attack upon 
Natchitoches (1806), the old and historic frontier 
town of Louisiana. 

General Wilkinson, military governor of upper 
Louisiana and commander-in-chief of the United 
States army with headquarters at St. Louis was 
notified that the threatened advance of the Span- 
iards was making the reinforcement of Natchi- 
toches necessary. He dispatched Col. Gushing 
with several companies and a quota of artillery, 
conferring upon him discretionary power to act. 

Later, Wilkinson received orders from the War 
Department to himself repair to the Territory of 
Orleans and take personal command. He was 
instructed to resist any encroachment of the 
Spaniards upon the territory he was sent to defend, 
to repel invasion, and to oppose force by force if 
necessary. His specific orders, however, were; 

"It is highly probable that within a very short time, we 
shall receive accounts of a satisfactory adjustment of all 
disputes between ourselves and Spain. Hostilities ought, 
therefore, to be avoided by all reasonable means within our 

Wi)t Jfurtjer ^frontier 347 

power; but an actual invasion of our territory cannot be 
submitted to." 

Wilkinson, upon his arrival upon the scene, 
found that the Spaniards had encroached upon 
Louisiana. But before beginning open hostilities 
which might have precipitated a war between the 
two countries, he first tried the expedient of ar- 
ranging a conference with the Spanish commander 
to endeavor if possible to persuade him to retire 
beyond the Sabine, both to await the result of the 
negotiations pending between their respective 
countries. In this Wilkinson was successful, the 
Spanish troops withdrew, and there was created 
a neutral zone between the opposing forces. Upon 
the establishment of this neutral zone is based the 
boast of a western parish (county) of the present 
State of Louisiana that they are citizens of the "Free 
State of Sabine." 

The achievement of this bloodless victory was of 
some significance at that time, for Aaron Burr was 
then engaged in a formidable enterprise which had 
for its objective either the separation of the South- 
west, including New Orleans, from the rest of the 
Union, or the conquest of the farther southwest 
including Mexico — just which of the two has never 
been positively determined. In the first case Burr's 
activities could be nothing more nor less than 
treason, and for this he was arrested and tried. 
The country beheld the spectacle of a man who 
had been Vice-President of the United States and 
accounted one of the most brilliant men of his day 

348 ^f)t "^allep American 

sleeping on a pallet in the Richmond, Virginia, jail, 
pending his sensational trial. 

Had an armed clash occurred with the Spaniards 
at this time with the armed forces of the United 
States few in number, and the energies of the 
government required to meet the crisis of war for 
the first time since the young republic was formed, 
it would have given Burr greater opportunity to 
organize and carry out his designs, whatever they 
were. But the crisis was averted and the so-called 
Burr's Conspiracy came to naught . 

While Spain's barrier in the Southwest was made 
coincident with the Sabine River separating what 
is now Louisiana from Texas, yet a little farther 
north had come into existence another barrier of 
the government's own erection. 

In moving the Indians from east of the Missis- 
sippi to new homes west of that stream, as has been 
touched upon already, these wards of the nation 
were given one of the choicest areas in the whole 
country, an area rich in agricultural possibilities 
and mineral resources, lying west of the present 
State of Arkansas. Here the onrush of the on- 
coming settlers, who by this time were beginning 
to swarm across the Mississippi, was effectively 
checked and deflected. 

For the government had now assumed a real 
guardianship over the Indians who had surrendered 
themselves to its keeping. The government's 
interdiction against white settler intrusion upon 
Indian lands in this section did not, however, 

Wi}t jFurtfjer jFrontier 349 

prevent an individual white from entering occasion- 
ally the Indian Territory, taking unto himself an 
Indian wife and becoming by adoption a member 
of one of the several Indian tribes. Such came to 
be known with some contempt as "squaw men" 
and were regarded as hardly better than parasites 
living indirectly upon the bounty of the United 
States Government and drawing benefit by the 
rapid increment of wealth which came to his squaw 
wife through the great increase in tribal land values. 
Not until 1889 were the bars of this particular 
barrier to the settler advance removed, and when 
they were, the sensational rush of home seekers to 
the lands thrown open to occupancy is referred to 
as the Oklahoma Boom. 

Meanwhile, areas of settlement in Western 
Missouri and Northern Arkansas were rapidly 
expanding. Thrusts of occupancy extended along 
various streams such as the Missouri, White, Osage 
and other rivers. Here were repeated the experi- 
ences and conditions of frontier life almost as they 
were encountered and found to exist when the first 
pioneers went beyond the Alleghanies. But there 
was this difference. These later settlers were 
nearer bases of supplies and not so dependent upon 
their own resources. Moreover, there was now a 
government over them that exercised itself more 
actively in protecting the frontier than when this 
frontier was east of the Mississippi. 

It was the policy of the government as the 
frontier advanced, to purchase the lands adjacent 

350 ^fje ^allep American 

to the outlying settlements and remove their late 
Indian owners farther west, thus lessening chances 
of collision. Clashes, however, would take place 
despite all governmental effort to prevent them. 
These were due in part to the overeagerness of the 
whites to move into the relinquished domain before 
the occupants vacated; in part, to the frequent 
return of the dispossessed Indians upon horse- 
stealing and marauding expeditions which would 
occasion great alarm and force temporary retire- 
ment of the whites as in the days of the blockhouse. 
There would also be retaliations on the part of the 
whites which did not make for the general peace, 
however much it developed the combative frontier 
spirit of the participants to reappear in their 

The various stages by which the Indian barrier 
in Missouri, like a movable fence, was removed 
farther and farther as the whites advanced, are 
indicated in the successive treaties which extin- 
guished the titles of the aborigines to that area. 
The Sac-and-Fox treaty of 1804, concluded before 
the Sac-and-Fox War alluded to in another place, 
relinquished three million acres in the northeastern 
corner of the present State. Later, these Indians 
gave up the northwest corner (1836) to which they 
had retired, in the transaction known as the Platte 
Purchase, also referred to elsewhere. 

Four years after the first Sac-and Fox relinquish- 
ment, Pierre Chouteau, acting for Governor Merri- 
wether Lewis of Missouri Territory, concluded a 

tirtie Jfttrtijer Jf rentier 351 

treaty with the Osages — a numerous tribe of wide 
range. This established a boundary line extending 
from Fort Clark on the Missouri River, due south 
to the Arkansas River, thence down that stream to 
the Mississippi. The area thus ceded was estimated 
at 48,000,000 acres and it will be seen that Arkansas 
as well as Missouri greatly profited by the trans- 
action. A provision of the treaty, tacitly agreed 
upon but not stipulated, was that such claims as the 
Osages may have had to the lands north of the 
Missouri were by these same presents canceled. 
Ten years after the first treaty, a second one was 
entered into with the Osages by which the bound- 
ary line was moved still farther west, so that with 
the Platte Purchase subsequently made, the 
western limits of the State as it exists to-day were 
practically fixed. 



'X'URN we now again to the southwest frontier 
■■■ and to a time a little later in the century than 
when the armies of the United States and Spain 
confronted each other, with the neutral zone of the 
Sabine between them. 

Mexico had won its independence of Spain in 
1821. Texas had in turn thrown off the yoke of 
Mexico by means of a successful revolution which 
had its Lexington at Gonzalez, its Yorktown at San 
Jacinto and its Washington in the person of General 
Sam Houston. 

Under its banner of the one star it stood a defiant 
republic for a decade, the threat of Mexican ven- 
geance ever a menace against its peace but never a 
daunter of its courage. The move to annex the 
Lone Star Republic to the United States and admit 
it as a State to the Union transferred Mexican 
resentment from the smaller to the larger country. 
It soon became evident that the annexation of 
Texas meant war with Mexico. 


^ictorj>=^eeti of Appomattox 353 

The army post guarding the southwestern fron- 
tier at that time was Fort Jessup, west of Natchi- 
toches, Louisiana, about halfway between the Red 
and Sabine Rivers. Here was stationed the 3rd 
regiment of United States Regulars, and here in the 
spring of 1844 was sent from St. Louis, the 4th 
regiment as reinforcements. And with the coming 
of the 4th Regiment to the Louisiana frontier, the 
West's great contribution to the galaxy of military 
stars of all time receives at the hands of Destiny 
the dedicatory acolade which consecrated him to 
the service of his country and inspired him to be its 
savior when threatened with dismemberment. 

Few figures stand out more clearly from the 
background of American history than does that of 
U. S. Grant, one time commander-in-chief of the 
Federal Armies, and later President of the United 
States. Few careers have been more closely 
scrutinized under the searchlight of the biographer 
than that of this silent man of action. 

Yet, clear cut as is his figure, and searching as 
this scrutiny has been, there is a period of his life 
covering some fifteen months which is all but 
ignored by the historian and biographer. Up to 
the time that Grant's own memoirs were published 
many obscure and erroneous statements concern- 
ing this period appeared in print. Thus, we are 
told by one of his many early biographers that 
Grant spent the two years following his graduation 
from West Point (which included this period) "in 

Missouri and Missouri territory among the Indians 

354 ^t)^ ^allep J^merican 

who at that time were troublesome." One of the 
most popular of his recent biographers — a writer 
who took special pains to visit in person many 
localities identified with Grant's career — dismisses 
with a line these fifteen months, when he might 
have set them forth accurately and thrown some 
interesting side light upon the beginning of a mili- 
tary career whose subsequent phenomenal success 
makes its slightest detail of interest. 

Grant graduated from West Point in July, 1843, 
and was assigned to the 4th Regiment as brevet 
second lieutenant. He reported for duty Septem- 
ber 30th at Jefferson Barracks, near St. Louis, and 
where his regiment was stationed. In May follow- 
ing, the 4th Regiment was ordered to join the 3rd 
in Western Louisiana, which was then the south- 
western frontier of the United States. The troops 
went by way of the Mississippi and Red Rivers, 
and the move was made while Grant was absent 
on leave. In June Grant rejoined his regiment, 
which he found at Fort Jessup. 

The United States troops assembled at this 
point were ostensibly an "army of observation." 
In reality, they were an intimation to Mexico that 
no intervention in Texas affairs would be tolerated. 
They were held in readiness to be changed at a 
moment's notice into an army of occupation; for 
Texan annexation was occupying a large share of 
public attention at this time. 

It being impracticable for sanitary and com- 
missary reasons to quarter all the troops in the 

"^ictorj)=^eetr of Appomattox 355 

immediate vicinity of Fort Jessup, the 4th Regi- 
ment was removed to a point about twenty-five 
miles distant. The site selected was admirable. 
Three miles away in one direction is Grand Ecore, 
one of the most imposing bluffs along the Red River 
and one whose strategic importance in later years 
came into prominence in Banks's Red River 
campaign in the war between the States. Three 
miles in another direction is the town of Natchi- 
toches. All about were the homes of wealthy 
planters, for here the richest of alluvial lands are 
interspersed with rolling hills, combining all the 
advantages of fertility and healthfulness. Indeed, 
in respect to the latter, Grant bears eloquent testi- 
mony in his memoirs. Says he, 

"The place was given the name of Camp Salubrity and 
was entitled to it. The camp was on a high ridge with 
spring branches in the valley in front and rear. The springs 
furnished abundance of water, and the ridge was above the 
flight of mosquitoes, which in that region abound. The 
regiment occupied the camp six months before the first 
death occurred, and that was caused by accident." 

He also testifies that he here recovered from a 
cough contracted at West Point which indicated 
incipient tuberculosis. Who knows to what extent 
history might have been changed if this salubrious 
spot in the far South had not thus restored to health 
the future victor of Appomattox? 

Natchitoches, near which the camp of the 4th 
Regiment was pitched, is one of the most time- 

356 VCf)t "^allej* ^mtxitm 

honored and historic spots in the Southwest. 
Founded by St. Denys in 1714, it is the oldest town 
within the limits of the present State of Louisiana. 
Its court house records and documents date back 
to the middle of the eighteenth century, while all 
about its quiet streets lingers an atmosphere full of 
the haze of the olden days and of memories which 
accentuate by contrast the evidences of modern 
progress and enterprise, whose spirit has of late 
descended upon the town. 

In the region round about Natchitoches lived 
many well-to-do planters whose alluvial acres and 
slave labor placed them in that leisure class from 
which so much of the culture and refinement 
characteristic of the Old South developed. These 
lived well and entertained royally. Many a house 
party and social gathering broke the monotony of 
camp life for the young ofiicers stationed at Camp 
Salubrity. How thoroughly Grant must have 
enjoyed these may be judged from what he wrote 
many years afterwards when stretched upon a bed 
of pain during his final illness. "There was much 
pleasant intercourse," he wrote, "between the 
inhabitants and the ofiicers of the army. I retain 
very agreeable recollections of my stay at Camp 
Salubrity and of the acquaintances made there." 
In a letter to the present writer Gen. Fred D. 
Grant says, "Very little has been said about that 
period, and yet I have heard my father speak of it 
almost as much as I have heard him speak of the 
Civil War." 

^ictorp=^eeb of Appomattox 357 

Some of these inhabitants who were yet alive 
when the writer visited the place^ recalled Grant 
as clean shaven, boyish-looking, and undersized. 
He had bluish gray eyes, sandy hair, and weighed 
not far from one hundred and fifteen or one hundred 
and sixteen pounds. Nothing about his personal 
appearance gave the least intimation of possible 
future greatness. Indeed, several whom the writer 
interviewed disregarded in a most refreshing 
manner the opportunity to lay flattering tribute to 
their powers of prophecy and discernment, by 
candidly acknowledging that they saw in him a 
youth of only the most ordinary type. He was a 
superb horseman, however, and to this fact may, 
perhaps, be ascribed the reason why Grant became 
somewhat of a social favorite. For the planters of 
the lower Red River Valley loved their thorough- 
breds and the man who appreciated good horse- 
flesh had a short cut to their esteem. The Natchi- 
toches racecourse was a famous one in the first 
half of the nineteenth century, and in a parish 
nearby, an important town to-day perpetuates the 
fame of a celebrated ante-bellum race horse in its 
name, Lecompte. 

A letter dated December 1, 1844, written by 
Grant to his friend, Lieut. Hazlett, and not gener- 
ally known, gives one an insight into what camp 
life at this time must have been. In this letter 
Grant refers to the state of excitement under which 
the men were laboring, for they expected daily to 

» 1896. 

358 ^tt ^allep ^mtvican 

be hurried off to the Texan frontier. He speaks of 
*' Corpus or San Antonio" as two possible points 
of destination, reports all property not absolutely 
necessary to present needs packed up for transpor- 
tation and stored at Grand Ecore. He intimates 
his own personal doubts as to any movement of the 
regiment in the near future, notwithstanding these 

He tells of the muttered curses heaped upon the 
heads of the regimental officers who put the men at 
work building two long lines of blockhouses as 
winter quarters more comfortable than tents, when 
the men believed such labor unnecessary in view 
of the expected early departure. Of these block- 
houses only the tracing of decayed wooden founda- 
tions are to be seen if by now they have not dis- 
appeared altogether. He writes: 

" There were five days' races at Natchitoches. I was there 
every day and bet low, generally lost. Jarvis and a number 
from Jessup were there. Jarvis was pretty high and tried 
to be smart all the time. He fell over the back of a bench 
at the racecourse and tumbled over backward in his chair 
in front of Thompson's Hotel during his most briUiant day. 
He undertook to play brag at our camp and soon succeeded 
in ridding himself of twenty dollars all in quarters. The 
game of brag is kept up as Hvely as ever. I continued to 
play some after you left and won considerable, but for some 
time back I have not played and probably will never play 
again — no resolution, though." 

Grant's disinclination to continue a devotee to 
brag, that fascinating forerunner of the Great 

'¥ittov^'^ttb of jlppomattox 359 

American Game, draw poker, was doubtless due 
to the fact that he had other resources within 
himself which enabled him to spend his time more 
profitably. For during the greater part of his stay 
at Camp Salubrity he undertook a serious and 
systematic line of study with a view of fitting 
himself for a chair of mathematics in some college. 
Indeed, this seems to have been the greatest ambi- 
tion of his young manhood. In a number of in- 
stances he has recorded his averseness to war and 
army life. 

There was a great deal of court-martialing of 
ofiicers, both at Camp Salubrity and Fort Jessup, 
for drunkenness, disobedience and inattention to 
duty. The fact that there was never an occasion 
to have Grant up for trial speaks volumes for his 
excellent habits and exemplary conduct. 

Of the older inhabitants of Natchitoches and 
vicinity when the writer was there who held Grant 
still in memory, perhaps the most interesting was 
old Valere, the negro who served as Grant's body- 
servant all the time the latter was at Camp Salu- 
brity, and afterwards accompanied his master to 
the Rio Grande frontier and witnessed the early 
battles in the war with Mexico. 

Valere had become quite aged and patriarchal. 
He had lost the sight of both eyes, but though his 
sightless orbs stared fixedly at the skies above, his 
face was ever smiling as he ambled along with a 
sureness of sense of locality that was a never ceas- 
ing source of wonder to other members of his race. 

36o ^Ije "^allep lamerican 

Valere was a maker of pipes. His hand-made, 
carefully turned corncob pipes, with their long 
curved cane root stems, had become known far 
and near for the sweetness and coolness of their 
smoke. Many a connoisseur has turned readily 
from his high-priced meerschaum to the modest 
fifteen-cent article turned out by the patient hand 
of this old blind man. He was quite popular, with 
white and black alike, and on Saturday afternoons 
the choicest nail -keg seat in any general store 
in the town was his to lounge upon, for it is upon 
these afternoons that the plantation hands and 
crop workers from the surrounding country flock 
in to do their week's trading and purchase their 
supplies. Wherever Valere might station him- 
self, there a goodly number of his admirers would 
collect to the profit of the hospitable provider of 
the nail-keg. 

Like many of the aged of his race, Valere had a 
fondness for recalling old times, and he was ever 
ready with anecdote or reminiscence of "dat leety 
man w'at dey call M'sieu Grant." Here is one of 
the anecdotes given in words that betokened the 
speaker's greater familiarity with the French 
language than with the one he endeavored to 
employ at the time: 

" One time, M'sieu Grant he say, ' Valere, you ol' scoun'rel. 
W'y for you not mek feex my bed mo' better? He full o' 
lomp. I can' sleep. Si you don' feex dose lomp I goin' leek 
you good.' I say, * W'at for you talk like dat, M'sieu Grant? 
I all 'e time feex you bed good.' Eh bien, I go in 'he tent. 

^ictorp=^eeb of llppomattox 361 

I look at him bed. I see it mek one big lomp. I lif up ze 
mattrass. Wat you t'ink I see! One be-e-e-g rattlesnake 
all twis' up roun'. He col' — want for git warm — crawl up 
under mattrass. Fin' warm place, go sleep. I call, * M'sieu 
Grant, come yere.' He come. I lif up mattrass. Show him 
snake. He jomp. Tonnere! I say, 'How you t'ink bed not 
goin' for have lomp w'en snake push him mattrass up like 
zat.?' Ze snake he be killed. M'sieu Grant he no mo' say 
he goin' leek me fo' not mek 'he bed good." 

For fourteen months Grant's regiment was 
stationed at Camp Salubrity. Early in June, 1845, 
the regiment received orders to embark for New 
Orleans. Here it remained until the early part of 
September, when it was transported to Corpus 
Christi to form a part of Taylor's army, operating 
upon the Texas border. Thus, from June, 1844, to 
September, 1845, Grant was domiciled in Louisiana. 
And yet, as was said at the beginning, his pub- 
lished biographies may be searched in vain for any 
full account of him during this period. The few 
months spent in Jefferson Barracks just before the 
removal of his regiment to Louisiana are fully 
dwelt upon, perhaps because the interesting episode 
of his courtship is connected therewith; but the 
longer portion of "the two years following his 
graduation" has all but been lost sight of. 

To-day Camp Salubrity is but a level hill-top 
surrounded by forest-covered dells and ravines. 
Yet here a clear-cut boyish voice once gave to trees 
still standing, tones to echo — tones which in time 
became stentorian enough to move a million men 
to action. Here the future General of the United 

362 ^fje ^allep ^mtxitan 

States armies received his real introduction to 
camp and army life, and here he first learned those 
lessons of drill, organization and close attention to 
military details which made him prominent in the 
Mexican War. And without this prominence and 
experience who knows but what the man and the 
opportunity might never have met at the time they 
did in the subsequent war between the States? 



A NY account of the rapid peopling of the earlier 
'**' West would be incomplete did it not include 
some reference to the great secondary tide that 
poured into the Valley following upon the older 
one which by this time had advanced beyond the 

This secondary tide was made up of Europeans 
and of these Europeans, first in evidence were the 
Irish, constituting as they did forty -two per cent 
of all foreigners who came to this country between 
the years 1821 and 1850. These Irish are to be 
distinguished from the Scotch-Irish of the old 
pioneer stock, who themselves were descended 
from the Covenanters whose sojourn in Ireland was 
only long enough to tack on to themselves the 
hyphenated part of their name. 

Famine years and the evils of foreign landlord- 
ism drove these Irishmen to America. Their past 
experience had not fostered in them any love of the 
soil, except possibly a sentimental one for the "ould 
sod." Agriculture had no attraction for them. 


364 tKfje "^allep jamerican 

Too temperamental were they for the isolated life 
of the rural community. Gregarious by nature, 
they naturally sought the centers of population 
already established. Wherever there was a market 
for physical labor of the hard, grueling kind, taxing 
one's powers of endurance to the utmost; wherever 
he could convert his brawn into satisfying wages; 
wherever his natural wit and aggressiveness 
counted most in winning for him political prefer- 
ment, there would the Irishman be found in large 
numbers, handling his pick and shovel, carrying 
his hod, lifting the heavy burdens of commerce, 
swinging his policeman's club and wearing his silk 
hat of various vintages as he bossed his ward or 
ruled the destinies of his city. We owe to him, as 
laborer and contractor, the building of many great 
public works and the erection of many massive 
edifices. He contributed the sweat of his toil to 
the sum total of all the effort and energy required 
to put America where it is to-day in material 
progress ; and he did this long before the coming of 
the swarthy, darker races of Southern Europe who 
took his place as diggers of ditches, hewers of stone, 
lifters of freight, laborers in rolling mills and other 
strenuous occupations calling for physical en- 

Many an Irish immigrant found himself halted 
by his inclination, at the seaport where he landed. 
He thrilled with the activities he there beheld and 
decided to go no farther. Others sought the West 
over the old ways the pioneers had blazed, lured 

^i)o^t tlTfiat Jfollotoeb jitter 365 

by the promise of greater opportunity which the 
West of that day held forth. But it was the cities 
that drew him, each receiving its contingent of 
Irish newcomers. These were, in a sense, true 
pioneers, for they led the van behind which many 
of their race were to follow. 

But most numerous of all the foreigners were the 
Germans. Not that this class of immigrants waited 
until the period of the great westward movement 
of population began, before coming to this country. 
It is said that they were present at Jamestown. 
Under Baron de Graffenreid, they founded New 
Berne, N. C. (1710). A number of the earliest 
Georgia settlements are attributed to them. The 
nomenclature of many towns and counties in the 
Middle and South Atlantic States reveals interest- 
ing information as to where they first arrived and 
dug themselves in. William Penn, by skillful 
circularizing, lured them for their eventual good 
to his landholdings of "Penn's Woods." John 
Law, a little later, did the same for New Orleans 
and the lower Mississippi Valley. In sectarial 
groups headed by their pastors — Mennonites, 
Moravians, Labadists, Harmonites, Zoarites, Dun- 
kers, etc. — they established their communities in 
the back country and were wilderness winners in 
every sense of the word. The Zoarites are credited 
with being the first makers of pig iron in the Alle- 
ghany regions and gave the first impulse to the 
industry that makes that section to-day the leader 
of the world in iron production. And leaping over 

366 Wt}t 'ValU^ ^mttitan 

the intervening years, we find Nicholas Longworth 
the First, in the early part of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, following in the lead of William Penn. He 
induced Germans to come over to his Ohio land- 
holdings for the purpose of developing vineyards 
and wine making. But the climate and soil being 
poorly adapted to such purposes, these Germans 
went to brewing and soon made Cincinnati the beer 
capital of America, a position it held until certain 
cities further west wrested the hop-and-malt 
supremacy from the Ohio metropolis and them- 
selves became the more famous for their brews. 

But where in the seventeenth century the Ger- 
mans landed in hundreds, and in the eighteenth 
century, in thousands, in the nineteenth their 
arrivals were in the hundreds of thousands, the end 
of that century finding 2,666,990 men, women and 
children of German birth living within the confines 
of the United States. The phenomenon of his migra- 
tion to America almost equals the phenomenon of 
the great westward movement of population by 
which the Mississippi Valley was originally peopled. 
Indeed, at one time a serious doubt arose as to 
whether the United States was to remain Anglo- 
Saxon or become Germanized. 

The urging causes to this German migration 
operating through a long succession of years were 
political, religious and economic in their nature. 
The general business depression in central Europe 
following the Napoleonic Wars; the leaven of 
liberty and democracy introduced into the Ger- 

^f)06t Z^ai JfoUotoeb ^fter 367 

manic lump by the Gallic yeast of French Revolu- 
tionary ideas; persecutions and repressions by the 
ruling classes to whom the Teutons of that day 
were not as blindly submissive as they have since 
shown themselves to be; general dissatisfaction 
with the reactionary policies of Metternich; revolts 
in succession and severalty, ending in failure and 
wholesale political persecutions and exile; poverty 
and famine induced by successive crop failures 
with no cessation of confiscatory taxes, — all con- 
tributed to the general unrest which made the 
Teuton take up once more his march westward and 
enter America as he had done in an earlier era when 
he entered Europe. 

The educated as well as the working classes ; the 
dreamer, the philosopher, the idealist as well as the 
small tradesman, the farmer, the laborer who knew 
not there were stars because of his life of low-bend- 
ings under intolerable burdens — all joined in the 
migration. They came by villages and congrega- 
tions, by individuals, families and organized socie- 
ties. It was even planned to organize a German 
state of 60,000 citizens, select its government 
oflficers and move it entire to some Middle West 
location, where land could be had sufficient for the 
purpose and there make themselves a member of 
the Federal Union. There were those who even 
dreamed of a New Germany in the heart of America, 
a dream which in reverse may yet come true when 
America and her allies shall have cured the cancer 
of Prussianism and replaced it with the healthy 

368 VS^i)t "^allep American 

democratic tissue of a New United States in the 
heart of Germany. 

The States west and northwest of Indiana felt 
the full force of this Germanic tide. For in the 
areas east and south of that State lands had passed 
their periods of pioneer cheapness and had so en- 
hanced in value as even to drive farther west the 
younger generation of those parts. The lure of 
low-priced land drew the German to the North- 
west as by a magnet. He spread over Northern 
Illinois, Southern Wisconsin, crossed the Missis- 
sippi to Missouri, Iowa and Minnesota, threw 
settlement outshoots into Arkansas, and isolated 
colonies into the red hills of North Louisiana and 
over the prairies of Western Texas. His sturdy 
shoulders, as he pushed his way up the fertile valley 
of the Missouri, helped mightily in moving the 
frontier back, back and still back until the barrier 
of the Western prairies, with its fierce, far-riding 
denizens, brought pause to the advancing whites. 

The German's memory of what he had left 
behind in coming to America was not in those days 
the roseate one of a Deutschland ilber alles that a 
number of later comers cherished. He entertained 
no blind admiration nor lingering and subservient 
affection for the masters that had driven him forth. 
Though clinging to the language and many of the 
folk-ways of his forebears, he was in full mood to 
appreciate the blessings, as well as the responsibili- 
ties, of American citizenship. 

His loyalty to the land of his adoption and his 

tIDfiosie Wt^at jfoUottjeb lifter 369 

acquired patriotism were put to the fire test when 
called upon to rally to the defense of the Union. 
He marched in numbers behind Franz Sigel, Carl 
Schurz and other military leaders whom his race 
contributed to the Union cause, singing to the tune 
of "The Girl I Left Behind Me," his mock-song 

"I dress mineself in Yenkee clothes 
Und I go und fight mit Sigel." 

And when he went into the iron brigades that 
came out of the Northwest and overwhelmed the 
Southern Confederacy, the capstone was placed 
that made the structure of his citizenship complete. 
His descendants, American in all save, perhaps, in 
family name, number many who hold high com- 
mands in the naval and military service of the 
United States and high positions in the councils 
of the nation, their loyalty unquestioned and un- 
questionable at a period when doubt and suspicion 
naturally attached themselves to everything sug- 
gesting German thought and influence. 

This old Valley pioneering German and his 
progency are not to be confounded with the later 
comers of his race led to our land by the lure of the 
American Dollar or urged to abandon his own 
because of his cowardly evasion of military service 
which in his home country was at the time exacted 
of all citizens alike. It was among these that our 
government had to look in the troublous period of 
the great World War for the spy, the traitor, the 


370 ^tt '^allt^ American 

human curs who in answer to the voice from across 
the sea were all too prone to bite the welcoming 
hand that fed them, and, in spirit, to lick fawningly 
the hand that had driven them forth from their 
"fatherland." Exemplifying in their minds and 
actions the psychology which applies to cowardice, 
we saw them grovel abjectly when the Hohenzol- 
lern whip of unspeakable ruthlessness sounded 
snappingly from the other side of the Atlantic, 
making them fanatically frantic to serve the terrible 
compeller of their mistaken worship, in ways 
devious and sinister, by methods of cunning and 
secrecy which offered least danger to their precious 
skins and carcasses. And now that the war is over, 
we will let it go at that. 

A factor contributing largely to the peopling of 
Western Missouri and the pressing back of that 
section of the frontier to the western limits of the 
present State, was the overland trade which de- 
veloped with Santa Fe and with the distant 
Northwest. St. Louis, as might commonly be 
supposed, was not the headquarters or assembling 
point for either the Santa Fe or the Oregon trade, 
but "Old" Franklin, 150 miles farther west. As 
steamboat navigation on the Missouri developed, 
the receiving and forwarding point was moved 
still farther west to Independence, cutting off that 
much wagon-haul from the first stage of the long 
journey across the plains. 

The profits of the Santa Fe trade were enormous ; 
its dangers were such that only well-armed, well- 

Wf^osit ^ijat Jfollotoeli 0(ter 371 

guarded caravans of many wagons could success- 
fully undertake the venture. Every trip westward 
was the piercing of a barrier, a sortie as it were, 
from a fortified line, far into the country of an 
enemy. No man or wagon might venture alone. 
Each waited perforce until a number assembled, 
organized for mutual protection and set out in as 
formidable an array as possible. The wagon used 
was usually of the Pennsylvania Conestoga type. 
Its manufacture was specialized at Pittsburg for 
the Western trade. It held five thousand pounds 
of freight and was drawn by eight mules or oxen — 
sometimes twelve. One of Missouri's chief indus- 
tries of the present day, mule breeding, had its 
inception in the needs of this trade before the rail- 
road relegated wagon-hauls to that scrap-heap 
which Progress delights in piling. 

The frontier north of the Missouri section held 
closely to the Mississippi long after Missouri had 
population enough to form a State. Iowa was 
comparatively untouched as late as 1830. Lieuten- 
ant Zebulon Pike of Pike's Peak fame, in his ex- 
ploration of the headwaters of the Mississippi, had 
in 1805 found only three small isolated settlements. 
One of these had been planted originally by Julien 
Dubuque, a French Canadian who had received a 
land grant and mine concession during the Spanish 
regime. The second was that of Basil Girard near 
what is now McGregor. The third was that of 
Louis Tesson near what is now the town of Mon- 
trose. By 1840 the southeastern corner of Iowa 

372 tIDfje "^allep American 

began to receive a part of the overflow from popula- 
tion streams pouring into Wisconsin and Missouri. 
It had by this time become a separate Territory. 
Its first seat of government was Iowa City, where it 
remained for twelve years, Robert Lucas, John 
Chambers and James Clark serving in succession 
as territorial governors. It received its heaviest in= 
flux of settlers in the period following 1 850, hence the 
limits of this volume prevent further consideration 
being given to the State whose Indian name means 
"Beautiful Land" as well as the State north of it. 

The work of those concerned with the pioneer 
conquest of the earlier West ends with the crossing 
of the Mississippi and the reaching of the barrier 
of the Western plains. Here a new advance begins, 
the pioneer of the prairie relaying the pioneer of the 
earlier period in the race westward. Here the 
pioneer's dwelling changes from the log cabin in 
forest fastnesses to the sodded hut of wind-swept, 
vision testing, treeless stretches, redolent of flowers 
and wild grasses. Here the West of Boone, of 
Sevier, of Robertson and of the older Lincoln 
merges into the West of Long, of Pike, of Fremont, 
of Carson and of Cody. 

The reader will have to look elsewhere for any 
chroniclings of the conquest of the later West, any 
account of the breakings through the barrier of the 
Western plains, any narrative of the never-ending 
streams of American pioneers following after the 
sun of American expansion, to its setting in the 
Orient's sea. 



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Vol.iv, The Westward Movement. 1899. The Miss. Basin. 



Acadian chiefs, 135 

Acadian coast, 137 

Acadian migration, 132-137; dis- 
persal, 131 

Adair, Gen. John, 294 

Anderson, Lieut. Robert, 340 

Animal paths, facilitators of 
human travel, 15 

Arkansas, John Law's settlement, 

Arkansas Post, founded, 50; capi- 
tal of Arkansas territory, 231 

Arkansas Territory, 236 

Arsenbourge, Count, 90 

Assenisipia, proposed State of, 

Attakapas section, 135 

Aubry, Capt. Philippe, 92-97 

Austin, Moses, Empresario, 260 

Autossee, battle of, 252 


Barataria, pirates of, 298 
Barbier, Gabriel, 47 
Baron, Louis, 47 
Bassard, Anthoine. 47 
Bateaux-plats, 23 
Baton Rouge district, 214 
"Beautiful Land" (Iowa), 372 
Bellerive, St. Ange de, 120 
Benton, Thomas H., 333 
Bernadotte, 190 
Berthier, Marshall, 188 
Beujeu, naval commander, 49 
Bienville, Jean Baptiste Lemoyne, 

sieur de, 53-58 
Biloxi, French settlement of, 53 
Black Code of Louisiana, 110 
Black Hawk, Chief, 340 

Blacksmith shops, floating, 304 

Blockhouse era, 262 

Blount, Gov., 239 

Boboeuf, Andre, 47 

Boiduc, Louis, Missouri pioneer, 

Boisblanc, Hardy, martyr patriot, 

Boisrondet, Sieur de, 46 

Bonaparte, Lucien, 188 

Boone, Daniel, Kentucky pioneer, 
6; becomes Spanish subject, 128 

Boone'§ Road, 16 

Bor6, Etienne de, 209 

Bourdon, Jacques, 47 

Boycott, early use of, in the West, 
337 ... 

Boyer, Jacques, Missouri pioneer, 

Braddock, Gen., 26 

Break-in-transportation law, 299 

Brewing industry, western begin- 
nings of, 366 

British West Florida, 151 

Broadhorns, 24 

Broussard, Senator Robt. J., 136 

Browne, Dr. Joseph, 235 

Bruin, Col., 180 

Brule, Great Lakes explorer, 35 

BuflFalo paths, 16 

Buret, Pierre, 47 

Burr, Aaron, 239, 347 

Cabildo, the, 108 
Caddodoquis Indians, 14, 58 
Cadillac, Antoine de la Mothe, 58 
Cahokia, 111., French post, 118 
"Cajun" menu, typical, 142 
California, admission of, 327 
Calumet-Des Plaines portage, 19 




Calumet-Kankakee portap'e, 19 
Camp meeting, early western, 

Camp Salubrity, La., 360 
Canoe as a vehicle of travel, 17 
Caresse, Pierre, martvr patriot, 

Carondelet, Baron de, 113 
Carroll, Gen., 287 
Carver, Jonathan, prophecy of, 

quoted, 11 
Casa Calvo, Marquis de, 113, 207 
Casket girls, 57 
Casson, M. Dolliere de, 39 
Cessions of western territory, 226 
Chambers, John, Gov. of Iowa 

Territory, 372 
Champlain, Samuel, 20 
Chapman family, 304 
Cherokee Indians, 325 
Cherronesus, proposed State of, 

Chicago-Des Plaines portage, 19 
Chicago, early history of, 192, 

250, 300, 302 
Chickasaws, the, 17, 33 
Chillicothe, territorial capital, 234 
Choctaws, the, 325 
Chouteau, Auguste, Missouri 

pioneer, 118 
Chouteau, Pierre, Jr., 311 
Cincinnati, early history of, 165, 

246, 300 
Claiborne, William Charles Cole, 

209, 237-244 
Clark, James, 372 
Clark, Gov. William, 236 
Cleaveland, Moses, 249 
Cleveland, O., early history of, 

249, 302 
Coburn, John, 235 
Cochois, Jacques, 47 
Cochran, Vice-Admiral, 284 
Code O'Reilly, the, 110 
Coffee, Gen., 287 
Coles, Edward, Illinois pioneer, 

Comet, the, second steamboat on 

the Mississippi, 311 
Compagnie des Indes, 62 
Compagnie de la Louisiane, 62 
Company of the West, John 

Law's, 63-65 
Connecticut Reserve, 225 
Conti, Prince de, 41 

Cornstalk, Chief, 26 

Coureurs-de-bois, 59 

Creek treaties, 253 

Cr^ve Cceur, Fort, 44 

Crozat, Antoine, 57-58 

Crozat's charter, 58 

Cruzat, Francisco, Spanish gov- 
ernor, Missouri district, 121 

Cumberland Gap, 16 

Cumberland Road, 26 

Gushing, Col., 346 

Customs and manners in the 
Acadian Attakapas country, 

Cuyahoga-Muskingum portage, 20 

d'Abaddie, Gov., 90 

d'Abrado, Marchioness, 95 

Dances, Western pioneer diver- 
sion, 273 

"Dark and Bloody Ground," 6 

Dauterive, Capt. Antoine Ber- 
nard, 135 

d'Autry, Sieur de, 47 

Davis, Lieut. Jefferson, 340 

Davis and Lincoln, comparisons 
and contrasts, 340-343 

Dearborn, Fort, 251 

Decr^s, Minister of Marine, 190 

De Lassus, Charles Duhault, 
Spanish Governor, 121, 212 

Denman, Mathias, 246 

Derbigny, Pierre, 233 

Deshay County, Ark., locality of 
De Soto's death, 34 

De Soto, Hernando, 3, 31-34 

Destrahan, 223 

Detroit, significant growth of, 302 

De Vaca, Cabeza, 31 

Doak's Stand, Indian treaty of, 

Doucet, Julien Jerome, martyr 
patriot, 105 

Dry-goods store, floating, 304 

Dual elements in Western migra- 
tion, 314 

Dubois, Dr. Raphael, 9 

Dubuque, Julien, Iowa pioneer, 

Dufour, Parfant, Missouri 
pioneer, 117 

Dulhut, Daniel Greysolon, Min- 
nesota pioneer, 46 



Duluth, significant growth of, 302 

Dunkers, the, 365 

Du Tisne, early Kansas explorer, 

Du Quesne, Fort, 26 


Easterner and Southerner as 
pioneer Western settlers, com- 
pared, 325-326 

Easton, Rufus, 235 

Echota, Indian treaty of, 253 

Enotachapco, battle, 252 

Enterprise, the fourth steamboat 
to reach New Orleans; first to 
enter the Red River, 311 

Erie Canal, 301 

Eschikagou, 250 

Etna, the, pioneer steamboat, 311 

Eustis, Dr., quoted, 219 

Evansville, Ind., steamboat build- 
ing activities of, 309 

Facility, the, first steamboat on 

the Arkansas River, 311 
Fallen Timbers, battle, 248 
Ferrero, Italian historian, quoted, 

Fiddlers' contests. Western, 272 
Filles d la Cassette, 57 
Filson, John, 246 
Knancial Panic, first, 331, 332 
Finger Lakes, the, 20, 35 
Fitch, John, inventor, 305 
Flatboat Commerce, 302-303; 

enormous volume of, in 1832, 

Flint, Rev. Timothy, quoted, 319 
Florida Boundary Treaty, 183 
Fontainebleau, private treaty of, 

82, 87 
Forbes, Gen., 26 
Forman, Ezekiel, Natchez pioneer, 

180, 273 
Fort Bowyer, 283 
Fort Chartres, 111., French post, 

Fort Crawford, Wis., 340 
Fort Jackson, Indian treaty of, 

Fort Jessup, La., 353 
Fort Meigs, O., 279 

Fort Mims, massacre, 252 

Fort Rosalie (Natchez), French 
post, 59 

Fort Stephenson, O., 279 

Fort St. Louis, Ala., 54 

Fort St. Louis, Texas, 50 

Fox- Wisconsin portage, 18 

Franklin, Mo., and the Santa F& 
trade, 370 

French colonial government in the 
Valley, 58 

French, Daniel, pioneer steam- 
boatman, 310 

French Forts, early Western, 76 

French Habitans of 111. and Mo., 

French migration. 111. to Mo., 119 

Frontenac, Count, 38 

Frontenac, Fort, 41 

Fulton, Robert, 305 


Gallinee, Abb6, 39 

Galvez, Don Bernardo de, Spanish 

Governor, 113, 158-159 
Gardoqui, Don Diego de, 167 
Gayoso de Lemos, Spanish Gov- 
ernor, 113; Commandant 

Natchez district, 181 
General Pike, the, first steamboat 

to arrive at St. Louis, 311 
German coast, the, 66 
German immigration to the Mis- 
sissippi Valley, 365-370 
German elements among French 

Creoles of La., 67-68 
Germans as early western Virginia 

pioneers, 79 
Gibault, Father, 149 
Gibbs, Gen., at battle of New 

Orleans, 293 
Girard, Basil, Iowa pioneer, 371 
Godoy, Spanish Minister to the 

U. S., 187 
Golden Horseshoe, Knights of the, 

Grand Ecore, historic bluff on 

Red River, 365 
Grant, Gen. Fred D., quoted, 

Grant, U. S., as a lieutenant at 

Natchitoches, La., 353-361 
"Great Woods," the, 79 
Greenville, Indian treaty, 248 



Grevel, Colin, member of La 

Salle's exploration party, 47 
Griffon, the, 43 
Guachoya, Indian village, 34 


Hamilton, Lieut.-Gov., 148 
Harmar. Gen., 248 
Harmonites in the West, 365 
Harrison. Gen. William Henry, 

221, 251 
Helm, Capt. Leonard, 150 
Henault, Andre, member of La 

Salle's expedition, 47 
Henderson, Ky., steamboat build- 
ing center, 46 
Hiens, conspirator against La 

Salle, 49 
Homestead entries, beginnings of 

free, 333 
Hominy Block, the, 268 
Horseshoe Bend, battle of, 252 
Howard, Gen., quoted, 313 
Huron, Lake, early exploration 
of, 35 

Iberville, Sieur de, French Naval 

commander and colonizer, 52-55 

Illinois, early French settlements 

of, 117; as a county of Virginia, 

149; territory of, formed, 234; 

early slavery agitation in, 316; 

first constitution, 316-317 

Illinois, proposed State of, 228 

Independence, Mo., and the Santa 

F6 trade, 370 
Independence, the, first steam- 
boat to ascend the Missouri, 
Indian canoes classified, 22 
Indian feast, typical menu of, 37 
Indian Springs, treaty of, 253 
Indian Territory created, 325 
Indian Territory formed, 234; 
memorializes Congress to per- 
mit slavery, 315 
Iowa City, pioneer capital, 372 
Irish immigration to the Missis- 
sippi Valley, 333-334 
Iron industry, beginnings of, in the 

Alleghany regions, 365 
Iroquois, the, 20 

Islenos, the, early immigrants to 
the lower Valley, 243 

Jackson, Gen. Andrew, 252, 318 
Jay, John, 167 
Jay Treaty, the, 174 
Jeflferson, Thomas, 227, 239 
Jennings, Jonathan, 315 
Joliet, Louis, fur trader, 35 
Journey-cake, 267 

Kansas-Nebraska Bill violative 

of the Missouri Compromise 

agreement, 327 
Kaskaskia, 111., 113, 149, 234 
Keane, Gen., at the battle of New 

Orleans, 286 
Keelboat, the Western, 23-24, 305 
Kentucky, District of, 6, 148, 

225; convention of 1785, 173 
Kinzie, John, Chicago pioneer, 

Knights of the Golden Horseshoe, 


Labadists in the West, 365 
Laclede, Pierre, Missouri pioneer, 

Lafitte, Jean and Pierre, 296 
La Freniere, Nicolas Chauvin de, 

martyr patriot, 89 
La Freniere's revolt, 89-99 
Land Claims Associations, 336; 

organization and operation, 337 
Land companies. Western, 330 
Land policy of Congress, early, 

Land prices in the West, early, 

Lambert, Gen., at the battle of 

New Orleans, 293 " 
La Salle, Cavalier de, 3, 38-50 
La Salle, Nicolas de, 47 
La Sassier, message bearer, 98 
La Sueur's copper seeking ex- 
pedition, 56 
Laurentian Basin, 18 
Laussat, colonial prefect, 205 
La Verendrye brothers, 75 



Law, John, financial genius, 60-66 

Leclerc, Gen., 191 

Lecompte, historic western race 
horse, 357 

Le Mai, Chicago pioneer, 250 

Lemoyne, Jean Baptiste, Sieur de 
Bienville, 53-58 

Lemoyne, Pierre, Sieur d'lber- 
ville, 53-55 

Lewis, Merriwether, 350 

Leyba, Fernando de, Spanish 
governor of the Missouri dis- 
trict, 121 

Lignon, Jean de, member of La 
Salle's expedition, 47 

Lincoln, Abraham, 318, 340-348; 
his father, 270 

Lintot, Bernard, 181 

"Little Paris" (St. Martinsville, 
La.), 144 

Livingston and Fulton's steam- 
boat patents, 309 

Livingston, Edward, 282 

Livingston, Robert R., 198, 305 

Longworth, Nicholas, 366 

Losantiville (Cincinnati), 246 

Louisiana, district, 221, 235; 
navigable streams, 21; origin 
of name, 48; ceremonies of 
transfer, 208-210 

Louisville, Ky., early growth of, 

L'Ouverture, Toussaint of San 
Domingo, retards possession 
taking of Louisiana, 190 

Lucas, J. B. C, 235 

Lucas, Robert, territorial gov- 
ernor of Iowa, 372 

Lures and urges in population 
movements, 8 


Maramec ore deposits, 66 
Marbois, Barbe, 200 
Marietta, O., founded, 246 
Marquette and Joliet, first French 

to reach the Mississippi, 36-38 
Marquette, Pere, missionary 

priest, 3, 35 
Marquis, Pierre, martyr patriot, 

Masan, Balthazar, martyr patriot, 

Massacre Island, 54 

Masse, Jean, member of La Salle's 
expedition, 47 

Matagorda Bay, settlement of, 49 

Maumee-Wabash portage, 19 

Maurepas, Fort, 53 

Maurice, Jean Baptiste, Missouri 
pioneer, 117 

Mauvilla, Indian village and 
battle, 33 

McCullough, Hugh, Indiana 
pioneer and U. S. Secretary of 
the Treasury, 313 

McGregor, Iowa, early settlement 
of, 371 

Mennonites in the West, 365 

Merchandising in the lower 
Valley, 303-304 

Mermentau River, disputed 
boundary, 215 

Meterie, Jacques la. La Salle's 
notary, 47 

Metropotamia, proposed state of, 

Michigania, proposed state of, 228 

Migneret, Pierre, member of La 
Salle's expedition, 47 

Milhet, Jean, martyr patriot, 90, 

Miller, Gov. James, 236 

Millinery industry, traditional 
origin of, 145 

Minor, Stephen, 181 

Miro, Don Estevan de, Spanish 
governor of the Valley, 113, 117 

Mississippi River, early com- 
merce, 24; difficulties in navi- 
gating, 24; early French com- 
merce on, 122; enormous 
volume of commerce, carried 
by, 302; first steamboat on, 

Mississippi Territory, 226 

Missouri Compromise, the, 322 

Missouri, earliest settlers, 118; 
territory formed, 235; Mecca of 
migrating slaveholders, 319; 
becomes a slave State, 323; 
rapid growth of population, 329 

Missouri-Louisiana waterway in- 
dependent of the Mississippi, 21 

Mohawk Valley route to the West, 

Monroe, James, 199 

Montrose, Iowa, early settlement 
of, 371 



Morales, Don Ventura de, 194 

Moravians as Western pioneers, 

Moreau, Louis Victor, 283 

Morgan, Gen., at the battle of 
New Orleans, 295 

Morgan, George, 129 

Mule breeding industry, begin- 
nings of, in Missouri, 371 

Mullens, Col., at battle of New 
Orleans, 294 


Nacogdoches, Texas Spanish mili- 
tary occupancy of, 346 

Napoleon, 187-190, 193, 200-201, 

Napoleon House, the, romantic 
history of, 204 

Natchez District, 249 

Natchez Indians, war with, 59 

Natchez, Miss., founding of, 59; 
early English settlers, 181 

Natchitoches, La., founded, 58; 
Southwestern frontier town, 
346; race course, 358 

Nelson, Capt., pioneer western 
steamboatman, 311 

New Albany, Ind., steamboat 
building industry of, 309 

New Madrid earthquake, 307 

New Madrid, Mo., early history 
of, 129 

New Orleans, battle of, 286 

New Orleans, founded, 63; street 
nomenclature, 64; first written 
description of, 64; remarkable 
growth of, 300 

New Orleans, the, first steamboat 
on the Mississippi and Ohio, 
306; first voyage of, 306-307 

Nicollet, Wisconsin explorer, 35 

Northwest Territory, Clark's con- 
quest of, 148-150; organization 
of, 226 

Noyan, Jean Baptiste, martyr 
patriot, 105 


Ohio Company, 80 

Ohio Company of Associates, 246 

Ohio, rapid growth of, 6 

"Old French War," 82 

One-crop system in the lower 

Valley, origin of, 304 
Opelousas, frontier post, 136 
Ordinance of 1787, 230-231 
O'Reilly, Don Alexandro, 100 
Orleans, Island, 197; Territory, 

Osage cession of lands, 351 
Osage Indians, first and second 

treaties with, 325 

Pakenham, Sir Edward, 286 

Paris, Treaty of 1763, 82 

Passenger travel on the Missis- 
sippi, 308 

Patterson, Robert, 246 

Pelipsipia, proposed State of, 228 

Pennywit, Captain, pioneer 
western steamboatman, 311 

Pensacola, British evacuation of, 

Perez, Manuel, Spanish governor 
of the Missouri district, 121 

"Pest Ships," 55, 67 

Petit, Joseph, martyr patriot, 105 

"Petticoat Insurrection," 57 

Physiographic conditions affect- 
ing man, 13 

Pickering, Senator, 223 

Piernas, Capt. Pedro, Spanish 
governor of the Missouri dis- 
trict, 120 

Pignabel, Jean, of La Salle's 
expeditionary force, 47 

Pike, Lieut. Zebulon, 371 

Pinckney, Thomas, minister to 
Spain, 183 

Piney-woods folks, 259 

Pioneer, Western, typical life 
history of, 257-258 

Pirogues, 22 

Platte Purchase, the, first viola- 
tion of Missouri Compromise 
agreement, 327 

Plauche, Major, 287 

Plummer, Senator, 233 

Point du Saible, Jean Baptiste, 
Chicago pioneer, 192, 250 

Point Pleasant, battle, 26 

Pollock, Oliver, the Robert Morris 
of the West, 154 

Polypotamia, proposed State of, 



Pontotoc, treaty of, 253 
Populated areas, early western, 

Population elements in the lower 

Valley, 243 
Portages, 17-18 
Pottawattomies, the, 340 
Poupet, Pierre, martyr patriot, 

Poure, Don Eugenio, 157 
Prairie du Chien, Wis., 340 
Prairie du Rocher, 111., 113 
Prophet, the, Shawnee leader, 251 
Prudhomme, Pierre, La Salle's 

armorer, 47 
Pushmataha, Choctaw chief, 252 
Putnam, Gen. Rufus, 246 


Quawpaws, the, 325 
Quebec Act, 83 
Quebec, founding of, 34 
Quinipissas, the, 47 


"Raccoon Bridge," 14 

Radeaux, 23 

Railroads in western development, 

Randolph, Thomas, Indiana pro- 
slavery agitator, 315 

Reed, Capt. Joseph, Western 
pioneer steamboatman, 311 

Remedial legislation on western 
lands. 332 

Rios, Capt. Francisco, Spanish 
governor of the Missouri dis- 
trict, 120 

River Raisin massacre, 279 

Roosevelt, Nicholas J., 306, 309- 

Sabine boundary, 346 
Sabine, free state of, 347 
Sac-and-Fox Treaty of 1804, 350 
Sac-and-Fox War, 339 
St. Anne, 111., French post, 113 
St. Charles, Mo., founding of, 120 
St. Clair, Gen., 247-248 
St. Croix River, 18 

St. Denis, French explorer, 58 
St. Genevieve, Mo., founding of, 

St. Joseph-Kankakee portage, 19 
St. Joseph, Mich., Spanish ex- 
pedition against, 157 
St. Louis, Mo., founding of, 118; 

rapid growth, 300 
St. Loulis River, early name for 

Mississippi, 48 
St. Martinsville, La., historic 

valley settlement, 136, 273 
St. Philippe, 111., French post, 113 
Salcedo, Don Juan de, Spanish 

governor, 113 
Sandusky-Scioto portage, 20 
San Ildefonso Treaty, 188 
Santa Fe Trade, beginnings of 

the, 370 
Santo Domingo revolt retards 

French re-occupation of the 

Valley, 191 
Saratoga, proposed State of, 229 
Sargent, Winthrop, Governor of 

Mississippi Territory, 233 
Sauve, Creole commissioner to 

Washington, 223 
Schurz, Oarl, 369 
Scotch-Irish in the Alleghany 

region, 78; as Western pioneers, 

Separatist movement in Ken- 
tucky, 1784-1790, 175 
Sevier, Gen. John, 238 
Shreve, Capt. Henry M., Western 

pioneer steamboatman, 310 
Sigel, Gen. Franz, 369 
Sinclair's expedition against St. 

Louis, 157 
Slave labor, inefficiency of, 323 
Slave-owner immigration to Mis- 
souri, 320 
Slave traders, Mississippi River, 

Slavery question in Indiana, 315 
Social forces analyzed, 7 
Southerner and Easterner as 

Western pioneers, 325-326 
Spain's power in America, decline 

of, 184 
Spanish colonial government in 

the Valley; how organized, 107 
Spanish governors of the Valley, 

their characteristics, 112 
Spanish Treaty of 1795, 183 



Specie payment exaction for 

Western land purchases, 330- 

Speculation, Western land, 330 
Spoliation claims, 201 
Spottswood, Virginia governor 

and early Western explorer, 78 
Squatter sovereignty, 315; germ 

idea of "self-determination," 

Steamboat building activities. 

Western, 309 
Steamboat navigation in the West, 

attempted monopoly of, 309; 

its efiFect upon the development 

of the West, 312 
Steamboat travel, popularity of, 

Steamboating, Western, rdpid de- 
velopment of, 311 
Sterling, Capt., 120 
Stoddard, Capt. Amos, 212 
Sylvania, proposed State of, 228 
Symmes, John Cleves, 246, 330 

Talleyrand, 187 

Tallushatchie, battle of, 252 

Taylor, Gen. Zachary, command- 
ing in Sac-and-Fox War, 340 

Tecumseh, Chief, 251-252 

Territorial government under 
Ordinance of 1787, 231-232 

Territory south of River Ohio, 226 

Tesson, Louis, early Iowa pioneer, 

Texas independence, how won, 352 

Thames, battle of the, 279 

Theatres, floating, 304 

Thomas, Gen. Philemon, leads 
West Florida revolt, 214 

Thomas, Senator, and the Mis- 
souri Compromise, 322 

Thornton, Col., at battle of New 
Orleans, 295 

Tippecanoe, battle of, 251 

Tohopeka, battle of, 252 

Tonti, Henri de, 41 

Traces, Indian, facilitators of 
Western pioneer travel, 15 

Trails, Indian, 14 

Trudeau, Zenon, Spanish gov- 
ernor of the Missouri district, 


Ulloa, Don Antonio de, 91-97 
Unzaga, Don Luis de, 112 

Vallere, Grant's body-servant at 

Natchitoches, 360 
Valle, Jean Baptiste and Francis, 

Illinois pioneer traders, 117 
Vaudreuil, Marquis de, French 

governor of the Mississippi 

Valley, 122 
Versuvius, the third steamboat to 

reach New Orleans, 310 
Victor, Gen., 205 
Vieux Carri, old French quarter of 

New Orleans, 203 
Vigo, Don Francisco, 150 
Villere, Major Gabriel, 287 
Villere, Joseph, martyr patriot, 90 
Villiers, Coulon de, 81 
Villiers, Jumonville de, 81 
Vincennes, capital of Indiana 

Territory, 234; Clark's capture 

of, 151; Slavery Convention of 

1802, 315 
Virginian, the first steamboat to 

ascend the upper Mississippi, 

Voyageurs, 59 


" Wabash Coat of Arms," 303 

War of 1812, 278-285 

Washington, George, messenger, 
80; defeats Jummonville de 
Villiers, 81; is defeated by 
Coulon de Villiers, 81 

Washington, proposed State of, 

Warerly, the, first steamboat on 
White River, Ark., 311 

Wayne, Gen. Anthony, 248 

West Florida, Spanish conquest of, 
158, 159; revolt of, 214 

Western pioneer, personal char- 
acteristics of, 264-265 

Western posts, British over-reten- 
tion of, 247 

Western reserve, the, 225, 249 

Westward movement basically 
instinctive, 9 



Whiskey in Western pioneer life, 

Whistler, Capt. John, 250 
Wilderness Road, the, 16 
Wilkinson, Gen. James, 110, 175, 

178, 209, 235 
Willing's raid, 152 
Wisconsin, early exploration of, 

35; territory, 234, 235 
Witches' Ballroom, 55 

Yazoo claims, 183 

You, Dominique, 204 

You, Pierre, 47 

Yrujo, Spanish minister, 195 

Zenobe, Father, 46 

Zoarites, as Western pioneers, 365 

The Works of 

Theodore Roosevelt 

Library Edition 

Here is a new, uniform edition of the works 
of this great American. Theodore Roosevelt 
was one of those leaders of an "all round" 
capacity of whom his country may well be proud. 
Cowboy, himter, publisher, political leader, states- 
man, historian, administrator, — whatever re- 
sponsibilities he undertook were effectively 
carried out. 

This same quality is reflected in his writings, 
which are indelibly stamped with the imprint of 
his strong character and brilliant intellect. And 
as an author he has to his credit an important 
series of books, of which the following are per- 
haps best known : 

American Ideals 
Hunting Trips of a Ranchman 
Naval War of 1812 
Wilderness Hunting 
Addresses and Presidential Messages 
Winning of the West 

3 Vols. {Sets only) 

These volumes comprise the Library Edition 

G. P. Putnam's Sons 

New York London 


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.C3^^ Mississippi Valley- 






Mississippi Valley- 

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